22 Jul 2021 7:56 PM +00:00

Psychonauts 2 Owes Much to Microsoft, Double Fine Says

Psychonauts 2 would be a very different game had Double Fine remained independent from Microsoft, a new report from Axios says (thanks GamesRadar).

Psychonauts 2's lead environment artist Geoff Soulis and senior system designer Lauren Scott told Axios the money from Xbox gave them room to see their vision for the game brought back to life.

Double Fine's Tim Shafer previously told GamesIndustry.biz that the team had to make difficult decisions about some content, including boss fights and enemies.

"With Psychonauts 2, we could see the end of our budget coming up, and so we had cut a lot of stuff," he said.

Read more: Psychonauts 2 was completed entirely without crunch

Psychonauts 2 Owes Much to Microsoft, Double Fine Says

"We had cut our boss fights. Now we are able to put those back in, and we're like 'we think people would have noticed if we didn't have those boss fights.'"

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Soulis told Axios that content is now back, and Microsoft's support even meant they could polish additional encounters to improve the whole experience.

"We definitely got a bit of breathing room for our enemies that were more on the tail end of things that needed some more love," he said.

All this is in service of Double Fine's broader vision for the game. Speaking of Psychonauts 2's emphasis on anxieties and other mental health challenges, Soulis said:

"What we try to do is approach everything with as much empathy and care as we possibly can."

He told Axios the team also worked with mental health consultants to make sure they presented it with care and sensitivity.

Read more: Psychonauts 2 runs better on Xbox Series S than PS5

[Source: Axios]