Please Doublefine, make an Epic Mickey Reboot!
Double Fine has pretty much always been a studio that took really daring and weird risks. Sometimes they paid off, sometimes not so much but everything they’ve put out is at least interesting. Their latest release, Psychonauts 2, is arguably their strongest entry to date, already on the minds of many as a top contender for game of the year, and deservedly so. It’s brimming with creativity and handles deep topics pretty adeptly. Double Fine’s future in games only looks brighter now being part of Microsoft and really having the resources to do whatever they want next with little to no compromises compared to previous projects.
Epic Mickey was at the time an incredibly ambitious idea. Take the squeaky clean mascot of Disney and give him an edge. An adventure that’s a little darker, a little weirder than what you would think of when you think of the favorite character of kids all over the globe. And whether it was due to production issues, studio interference or just not knowing what they really wanted to accomplish, this pretty ambitious idea came out a really mixed experience. Aside from pretty awful motion controls, a lot of the ideas of a darker, more twisted Disney universe to explore felt half-realized. The concept alone had the original sell well enough to merit a sequel, but the second game flopped so bad the series was cancelled and the studio was closed.
Despite this failure, the series still has a fanbase, and rumors of at least some sort of remaster persist. But a remaster wouldn’t do much good in my opinion. You need a studio that really understands how to make the type of game Epic Mickey was trying to be, and not just Psychonauts 2 but Double Fine’s catalogue of weird and interesting games shows them to be the kind of studio that is perfect to make that game.
Disney of today also isn’t the Disney of nearly a decade ago. While pretty much out of the game business themselves, they have shown more willingness in the last few years to really let their properties be played and experimented with. I think it’s even a natural fit to do it in the style of the recent Mickey Mouse shorts which are not only incredibly but specifically give Mickey that burst of personality and edge that has been otherwise absent for decades as the face of one of the biggest corporations on the planet.
I’m not saying we need a new Epic Mickey game in our lives that badly, but it would be a cool idea, seems like the kind of thing Microsoft could lock down as an exclusive and they literally have the ideal developer to make that type of game sing like it was truly meant to. It’s an opportunity for something really special, so let’s hope the right people in the right positions have that idea (or by some miracle read this blog) and get talking.
That’s all for today, but with a gameplay reveal of Midnight Suns happening tomorrow I’ll hopefully have a write-up on that tomorrow or the next day depending on how the day goes so see ya real soon!