Ron Gilbert, the mind behind Monkey Island, confirmed another installment in the classic franchise earlier this month. The sixth installment, Return to Monkey Island, will feature the return of Gilbert along with Dave Grossman, who collaborated with Secret of Monkey Island and LeChuck’s Revenge.
In an interview with Adventuregamers.com, Gilbert and Grossman shared a little more about Return to Monkey Island. Despite Gilbert’s distaste for April Fools, here’s what he had to say about announcing that he might be working on a new Monkey Island game on April 1 before formally announcing it a few days later.
“It was maybe about the time right after I wrote that If I Made Another Monkey Island thing [in 2013], and I just thought, you know—it was a weird fantasy, I was like oh, I’d buy the rights back, and I’d announce it on April 1, and it’d be great,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert also addressed his famous reluctance to make a new Monkey Island game unless he owned the IP.
“I think the more important thing, rather than owning it, was that I really wanted to have creative freedom. I didn’t want to be making a game and having somebody tell me what I should make. It’s not a work-for-hire gig. So that was probably more important than actually owning it, was being able to make the game we wanted to make.”
Two years ago, the whole situation came to a head when Gilbert met a Digital Devolver representative, who in turn put him in contact with the head of licensing at Lucasfilm. Shortly after that meeting, Gilbert flew to Grossman to seriously discuss what they would do with another Monkey Island game.
“We just thrashed all sorts of ideas and talked about what are the themes, and what do we want to say in the game, all that stuff,” Gilbert said.
For the sequel, Gilbert says he will take a more of a hands-on approach to the game’s development. Right now he has a team of twenty-five people working on Return To Monkey Island, which will feature a “modern” art style. Gilbert explained that the reasoning for changing the art style was that he wanted to “embrace something new.”
Gilbert also explained how it’s always been important to him that Return To Monkey starts where Monkey Island 2 ended, so it’ll pick up at the amusement park where the second Monkey Island left off.
Return To Monkey Island will retain the classic point-and-click style, but with a more evolved interface. It’s set to release later this year.
Luis Joshua Gutierrez is a freelance writer for IGN.