Brutal Legend loses publisher, game’s future uncertain

Double Fine’s Brutal Legend, designed by Tim SchaferThose who’ve been following Double Fine since their inception towards the beginning of the millennium are no doubt familiar with the tremulous development of their first critically acclaimed game, Psychonauts. After hitting the later end of development, Double Fine’s seemingly secure publisher — Microsoft — pulled out and left the game in development limbo. The game’s future lay uncertain for quite some time, but fortunately there was a happy ending as a smaller publisher, Majesco, took the game on. It came out after plenty of delays, and most of us loved it.

Looks like fate is being a particularly cruel bitch at the moment, because would you believe that after having a seemingly rock solid publishing agreement Vivendi have just gone and pulled out? Kind of, anyway. Activision and Vivendi recently merged, producing Activision Blizzard. This ‘new’ company has been doing all sorts of restructuring, including canning all but five of their big games. Those five games do not include Brutal Legend.

It’s too early to speculate, but hopefully things aren’t as bad as they seem. It’s worth bearing in mind that other seriously weighty titles such as 50 Cent: Blood in the Sand, World in Conflict: Soviet Assault, and Ghostbusters are amongst those abandoned by Activision. I’m guessing they’re going to be aggressively trying to sell these games and licenses considering how far into development they are and how much hype they’ve received. Some of them are pretty much cash cows.

I’m sure we’ll have some more details soon. Hopefully they won’t make us cry.

Update: While not much in the way of details, some new information has some from the head honcho of Double Fine himself, Tim Schafer. To quote: “Brutal Legend is fine”. So there you have it! Hopefully the specifics will be along shortly.

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