The creator of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, Ron Gilbert, took to twitter to declare that he was willing to pay “real actual money” to Disney for the rights to these IPs. Gilbert’s tweet is most likely a reaction to Disney discontinuing the Disney Infinity series and essentially announcing that is was ending its existence as a video game developer. Disney has even pulled out of E3 this year.
Gilbert worked on multiple classic LucasArts adventure games and even developed the scripting language, Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, or “SCUMM” for short. This engine was used in almost every LucasArts Adventure game after that with the exception of Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island. More recently, Gilbert successfully funded a kick starter to develop a new game called “Thimbleweed Park” which would use the satirical humor typical of his games but aimed at the detective genre.
As stated on the website for the game it, “will feature Ron and Gary’s trademark satirical humor, poking fun at Twin Peaks, True Detective, and The X-Files, with a little Stephen King thrown in just for fun.” This game is set to be released sometime late this year. The immediate graveyard Disney has put various IP into has had other developers speak up as well. Warren Spector, developer of the critically adored Deus ex, asked Disney for his Junction Point IP back on twitter because he feels Disney is “never going to do anything with them.” For Disney, Spector developed Epic Mickey and left the company after the closure of Junction point.
What Disney will do with all this accumulated IP is unclear. They are still developing games with Disney IP, most notably the large number of Star Wars games currently in development. Whether or not they will put these IP up for sale or if Disney has any plans is also unknown. What is known is that as of right now the large number of IP at Disney’s disposal seems to just be sitting around with no announced plans for development of new games in any of these, in some cases, beloved franchises.