Tales of Monkey Island Director Says He Didn't Even Call Tim Schafer When Development Began

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Posted June 23, 2009 - By Jake Gaskill

The Secret Of Monkey Island: Special Edition

Developer Tim Schafer first made a name for himself working on the Monkey Island series over at LucasArts in the early 90s. Since then, Schafer has created some of the most memorable and brilliant games of all time. And yet, when it came time for TellTale’s Tales of Monkey Island, the first in a five-part series of new Guybrush Threepwood adventures, the developers chose not to enlist Schafer’s help. Why?

Well, as the game’s design director Dave Grossman tells Eurogamer that the first person he called when he started the project was Monkey Island vet Ron Gilbert. Apparently, their collaboration was sufficient enough that Grossman didn’t end up needing Schafer’s input at all.

“I didn't wind up calling Tim [Schafer] because getting Ron involved turned out to be so much trouble - there's a lot of legal wrangling around that. I figured if I'm just going to be able to pick one of them, then it's going to be Ron.”

Grossman says that the “legal wrangling” mostly had to do with the fact that Gilbert was working at a different studio at the same time as he was collaborating on Tales of Monkey Island. That’s certainly understandable, considering that intellectual exclusivity clauses accompany almost every contract involving creative output. Plus, I’m guessing that taking the time to successfully negotiate a contract to collaborate on Tales, while he was in the middle of development on Brutal Legend (the game he’s wanted to make for many, many years), wasn't exactly at the top of Schafer’s priorities list.

Obviously, having Schafer’s input wouldn’t have hurt the new Tales series, but his absence won’t take away from them either. But I guess we’ll find out when the Tales of Monkey Island is released July 7 for PC and WiiWare.


Tales of Monkey Island Director Says He Didn't Even Call Tim Schafer When Development Began


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