Tim Schafer: “Innovation Is Possible If You’re Willing To Fight”
DoubleFine’s Tim Schafer talks about the problems he faced with Psychonauts and Brütal Legend, and the games industry’s attitude towards new ideas.
In an exclusive interview for games™’s landmark 100th issue, Tim Schafer speaks openly about the problems he has encountered since leaving LucasArts to found DoubleFine. Microsoft dropped Psychonauts after a corporate reshuffle, and Brütal Legend was the subject of a legal battle with Activision, but Schafer has no tolerance for those that would brand him a ‘tortured artist’.
“I hate that title,” he replies. “I think it’s the worst title ever. I think people want that to be the story – it’s a good story to tell – but Psychonauts, if you really look at it, is a very commercial game, and Brütal Legend is too. There’s definitely not any sort of drive to become exclusive, art-house content. I think we’re making very accessible games, and I think we’ll keep doing that until one of them is a huge hit and then people won’t say that anymore. They’ll say, ‘Double Fine sold out!’ And we’ll say, ‘We were trying to sell out with every game we made since the first one!’”
“Since making Grim Fandango in 3D instead of 2D, every game has something we were trying to do to make it sell. We’re still around, so obviously they didn’t sell as badly as it’s often told. I think people sometimes want me to get up and stomp my heel and whine about how innovation isn’t respected in the industry, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think if you’re making something innovative and you’re also willing to fight for it, you can get your game made, and there’s creative people, even at publishers, who will talk to you about making it. You just have to be willing to fight for your ideas.”
The full interview will appear in issue 100 of games™, which will be on-sale 2nd September. To order a copy, please visit the Imagine Publishing e-Shop.