Ron Gilbert: "Maybe I should start a Kickstarter for a hundred million dollars, to buy Monkey Island"

When Ron Gilbert departed LucasArts in 1992 he left his greatest creation, The Secret Of Monkey Island, in the hands of an empire. And though LucasArts’ 1997 follow-up The Curse Of Monkey Island was an extremely good adventure game, it dissapointed some fans because it ignored the twist ending to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. The Monkey Island 3 that Ron Gilbert intended to make has never seen the light of day but there is still some hope that he may get to create it some day, especially after LucasArts licensed the series to Telltale Games in 2009 for the studio’s episodic adventure series Tales Of Monkey Island.

In an exclusive interview, Ron Gilbert tells games™ that he still wants to make his own Monkey Island threequel, if he’s allowed to do things his way. “Yeah, I would. I would actually really enjoy making another…” he says, referring to such a game as the “real, third Monkey Island game.”

Ron Gilbert: "Maybe I should start a Kickstarter for a hundred million dollars, to buy Monkey Island"
The fake Monkey Island 3

“My caveat in that has always been, if I’m going to do that, I want to do it my way,” he asserts. “And I don’t want LucasArts telling me that it has to be a certain way, or that this isn’t faithful to the Monkey Island universe, or anything like that. I just want to make my third Monkey Island game, I’d really like to do that. But I think the odds of that happening are… I mean, unless I’m in George’s will, I don’t think that’s gonna happen.”

Of course, stranger things have happened in the world of videogames and the recent explosion in KickStarter projects has seen a number of classic gaming properties fall back into the hands of their creators.

I don’t know the backstory about how Al Lowe got the rights to do Leisure Suit Larry, or any of these other games.” says Gilbert, “but the problem with the Monkey Island stuff is that LucasFilm hoards intellectual property. And George does not need any more money, right? I think if I showed up at their doorstep with a briefcase full of ten million dollars, they would not sell me the license. I think it would have to be an obscenely absurd amount of money to pry that license away from them. So yeah, I don’t think Kickstarter would ever” he trails off before adding, “I mean, maybe I should start a Kickstarter for a hundred million dollars, to buy the Monkey Island license. You never know!”

Would you pledge money to help Ron Gilbert get the Monkey Island license back? Should LucasArts just allow Gilbert and DoubleFine to create the “real” Monkey Island 3? Let us know in the comments below.

And if you’d like to read more from the godfather of adventure games then see games™’s full interview with Ron Gilbert – in which he discusses his new advenure game The Cave as well as the fate of the genre as a whole – in issue 126 of games™, which reaches subscribers this weekend and is available to buy in print and digitally from the 2nd of August.



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  • Rampant

    Ron should just make a good game using his skills as a developer. Does he need to own Guybrush Threepwood to make a good adventure game? Surely the IP is irrelevant – Monkey Island 1 and 2 were hardly about the names and places anyway, and much more about quirky characterisation, excellent gags and silly, left-field puzzles.

    He could make a game about a dried up cat turd lying on the side of the M25 and still give it more panache, memorable humour and fun set piece puzzles than anything that was in Monkey Island 3.

    The absolute obsession with IP these days is just lazy, money grabbing nonsense. Did it do the recent remakes of Syndicate or Deus Ex any good? Did people buy Battlefield 3 because it’s a good game, or because it was the next instalment in a series they’d pretty much forgotten anway.

    Good games are good games. Easy.

  • Pingback: Ron Gilbert habla sobre la imposibilidad de un nuevo Monkey Island | FrikArte

  • Aro

    If the management at Lucas Arts had any sense, Ron wouldn’t need to buy the license from them — they’d just hire him to make the game and give him the creative control he wants, and a reasonable budget.  Surely after two decades of pent-up demand there would be a market for the game.  It’s not like Lucas is doing much with the license as it is … and if Ron’s game were somehow to tank, there wouldn’t be anything stopping them from saying “well, that was interesting … now here’s the ‘real’ Monkey Island 6 (or whatever) that ignores all of that.”

    It would be money in the bank, right?

  • Andrea Serreli

    I’ve been dreaming of the real Monkey 3 since I was just a little kid. CMI just wasn’t my cup of tea, even if I loved it and own several copies of all 5 games in the series. Please make this happen, I’d give one year of my salary to help.

  • Natsfan9

    Good games are good games, and Ron’s made plenty beyond Monkey Island.  Nevertheless, there was a good story that he started in Monkey Islands 1 & 2 and didn’t finish, and any good story’s worth finishing.
    And LucasArts won’t give up these rights easy nor will they hire Ron to make a legit Monkey 3, because that would undermine titles that they could potentially re-release.  So Monkey 3 is never going to happen; but hell, I’d give Ron a hundred dollars.

  • LeChuck

    The logic for it not happening just does not make sense. Lucas Arts isnt Lucas Arts without Ron Gilbert. If the man wants to make a MI game let him. You’ll make a profit and then some. Continuity patooey. There are ways around that.

  • Tom

    RON GILBERT FOR MONKEY ISLAND 3! RON GILBERT FOR PRESIDENT!