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Notch offers $13 million to make Psychonauts 2

Tim Schafer claims Mojang founder agreed to meet production cost of original game

Markus "Notch" Persson, the founder of Minecraft developer Mojang, offered Tim Schafer $13 million in funding to make a sequel to Psychonauts, Kotaku reports.

The situation emerged with an offhand remark from Schafer in an interview with Digital Spy, in which he claimed to have pitched Psychonauts 2 "several times" without success.

"I'd love to do that game, but I'd have to convince someone to just give me a few million dollars, that's all," Schafer said.

A few days after the interview was published, Notch tweeted at Schafer offering to, "make Psychonauts 2 happen." He later tweeted at Rock Paper Shotgun that his offer was "serious."

According to a report on Kotaku, Schafer warned Notch that the project would be expensive, based on the $13 million production budget of the first game.

"As soon as I mentioned the amount of money he said, 'Yeah, I can do that,'" Schafer said.

Psychonauts was released in 2005, but despite near universal praise it failed to find an audience. As of June 2007, the game had sold 400,000 units, though Schafer insists that platforms like Steam and Good Old Games have contributed significantly to that figure.

"We had a lot of plot elements that were backstory in that [first] game that we planned on revisiting in the future and tying it back in. We had a longer story arc planned for those characters."

So far, a deal to start production on Psychonauts 2 has not been agreed, but Schafer is clearly impressed by Notch and what he has managed to achieve.

"He's just a regular guy. He didn't do anything sleazy to get it. He just made it himself, distributed it himself, it's a great story. I think we have a lot to learn from him, so I'd like to do something with him. And I'd like to make Psychonauts 2."

Schafer's name has become synonymous with unconventional sources in recent weeks, with Double Fine's Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a new point-and-click adventure eclipsing its $400,000 target in a matter of hours.

At present, the campaign has raised almost $1.8 million.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.