Starbreeze will invest $8 million in Psychonauts 2, making the Swedish company the single biggest stakeholder in Double Fine's long awaited sequel.
Double Fine raised nearly $4 million for Psychonauts 2 through Fig in January last year. It was the first game on the crowdfunding platform to allow contributions from non-accredited investors, meaning that gamers could put money into the project and receive a share of any revenue.
Along with distribution and platform fees, that Fig revenue share will be paid out before Starbreeze can recoup its investment. However, at that point it will be entitled to 85% of revenue generated by Psychonauts 2, and that will drop to 60% when Starbreeze has been paid back its $8 million. Double Fine has also used its own money to fund the game, and it will retain the IP rights, but the money from Starbreeze is clearly pivotal in getting the game completed.
In a statement released today, CEO Bo Andersson-Klint referred to Double Fine founder Tom Schafer's rich body of work, which includes some seminal releases for people of a certain age. "We're very proud to be able to add this prominent collaboration to our publishing business," he said.
Starbreeze has been publishing third-party titles since May 2015, when, emboldened by the success of Payday 2 on PC, it invested $8 million in Lion Game Lion's The Raid: World War II. It also launched an "IndieLabs" label specifically for smaller projects In November last year, again kicking off proceedings with an investment in Lion Game Lion: $300,000 for AntiSphere.
"Starbreeze is the perfect partner for Double Fine and our backers on Psychonauts 2," Double Fine's Tim Schafer added. "Their expertise in not just developing and publishing games, but supporting them after launch will be a great benefit for players of the game."
Psychonauts 2 is scheduled to launch in 2018, so it will be some before the investment will pay off. In the meantime, Starbreeze has plenty to keep it occupied: both Lion Game Lion projects, launching Overkill's The Walking Dead, publishing Behaviour Interactive's Dead by Daylight on consoles, and pushing ahead with its StarVR virtual reality initiative.