The story of Psychonauts is one of the happiest underdog stories in recent memory. The original launched to critical acclaim in 2005 but underperformed so badly that plans for a sequel were scrapped fairly early on. The relative failure of the game forced publisher Majesco to step away from video games for a few years. While Tim Schafer and his team at Double Fine would produce games in the following years, it seemed like a continuation as Raz’s story would never come to light.
Eventually acquiring the publishing rights for the original, the future of Psychonauts 2 became a little brighter. The first game was put up for sale on digital distribution platforms and started to sell quite nicely, which sparked hope for the sequel. Then, a bone got thrown Double Fine’s way. Kickstarter, a crowdsourcing website, grew in popularity and showed that average people were willing to throw down money for games that looked to recapture the glory of their youth. After a massively successful campaign for Broken Age, Double Fine realized that Psychonauts 2 could become a possibility in this modern era of indie development.
Enter Fig, a platform launched in 2015 as more of an investment source than Kickstarter. The premiere title for this platform was Psychonauts 2, the long-awaited sequel to the plucky, darkly intriguing action platformer. Another smashing success of crowdfunding, Psychonauts 2 was quickly funded and is now nearing release after four years of development. Thankfully, that time spent in gestation seems to have paid off as the E3 demo I saw had some remarkable levels of polish.