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LucasArts Reflects On Monkey Island And Where LucasArts Goes Next

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Posted August 5, 2009 - By pklepek


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LucasArts Reflects On Monkey Island And Where LucasArts Goes Next

No one could have predicted LucasArts was staging a revival of Monkey Island, but almost out of nowhere, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition and Tales of Monkey Island's first episode have landed. Fans have applauded LucasArts' efforts, begged for more and wondered why it's taken so long for the company to capitalize on something so obvious to the rest of the world. I asked LucasArts president Darrell Rodrigeuz about these very topics in a recent e-mail interview.

"The team at Telltale did a fantastic job with the episodic version of Monkey Island with Tales of Monkey Island," said Rodriguez. "The game is a lot of fun, it looks incredible and is performing well. LucasArts’ The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition has been an incredible journey for us as well and we are thrilled with the response so far."

Several times in his responses, Rodriguez teases the company has much more up their sleeve. The response to Monkey Island may have provided LucasArts the green light to revisit their library.

LucasArts Reflects On Monkey Island And Where LucasArts Goes NextHeading back to the LucasArts well will take time, but it's been a long and frustrating wait for fans, fans who have begged LucasArts do this ages ago. Rodriguez, however, only joined LucasArts in April 2008.

"I can’t speculate on the past," he told me. "Certainly, the advent of digital distribution has allowed publishers to rethink the model for their back-catalog and heritage portfolios. At LucasArts, our plan was to fully capitalize on the additional freedoms that new digital distribution models afford by bringing these titles to market for our fans to enjoy."

I don't think anyone was upset when LucasArts revealed Money Island would be their first focus for a revival effort, but the LucasArts catalog is vast. Rodriguez says there was internal debate on the specifics, but there was little argument over whether Monkey Island should be the first one to receive the treatment.

"Many of us grew up playing Monkey Island, myself included," he said. "When I first joined the company, Monkey Island was the number one requested game to bring back, so while there was good discussion there wasn’t much of a debate. It’s a favorite amongst all of LucasArts employees and a personal passion project of mine. So as you can imagine, the decision was ultimately an easy one and we are thrilled with the response of the customers worldwide."

As for LucasArts next steps, Rodriguez is understandably quiet. He said there are "absolutely" more announcements about "a lot of great projects" coming from LucasArts before the end of the year, but beyond that, he's cagey. Rodriguez did tease an announcement related to the X-Wing and TIE Fighter flight simulation franchises, which we passed onto you guys yesterday.

"We’re looking forward to building on these successes and giving our fans even more of their favorites," he said.

I'm looking forward to that, too.

[image credit: flickr / stefan]

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