Double Fine’s Costume Quest and Stacking came out in 2010 and 2011 respectively; both titles were published by THQ for Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Network. THQ is now dead, and the publishing rights to both titles have found a new home with Nordic Games. If you recall, Nordic Games picked up a ton of sundry THQ property when they purchased the rights to Darksiders; Double Fine’s Costume Quest and Stacking were among the haul.
Tim Schafer has now expressed interest in reacquiring the distribution rights to both games. Double Fine still owns the IPs for both games, so theoretically they could still make sequels if they wanted to. Still, whenever a copy of either game sells, Nordic Games now gets royalties, and Schafer is trying to consolidate Double Fine’s stable of IPs.
“It’s not, like, a lot of money [that Nordic Games earns off each sale],” Schafer admitted, “it’s mostly for us to just tidy up things. And also an emotional attachment — more of a mission of Double Fine to own everything that we make. It’s, like, this loose end that kind of bothers me that we’d like to tie up. It’s frustrating when something’s really valuable to you for emotional reasons, and not that valuable to anyone else. Because they can still say, ‘Well, how much do you want it for?’ and it’s, like, ‘Aw, you know this isn’t valuable to you.’ It’s valuable to me, but not for business reasons, in a sense.”
At present, Schafer is refusing to comment whether or Double Fine is currently in talks with Nordic Games regarding distribution rights.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen smaller developers lamenting the lack of complete ownership of their IPs. Just a few months ago, Ron Gilbert was wishing he still owned the Monkey Island rights, and was even considering contacting Disney about the matter.