Monkey Island Creator Plans Rights Discussion with Disney

Monkey Island Creator Plans Rights Discussion with Disney

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Ron Gilbert wants to talk to Disney and make another Monkey Island game.

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm, it got the licenses to a lot of old LucasArts adventure games in addition to the coveted Star Wars rights. Ron Gilbert, the man behind the first two Monkey Island games, was not happy when he discovered that his beloved brainchild had gone to a company that's generally happy to sit on IPs without making new entries for them. Not content to let his baby languish in a Disney filing cabinet somewhere, Gilbert now plans to engage the Mouse head-on to see if Monkey Island could return to its creator.

"I would love to contact them at some point," says Gilbert, who currently works for Double Fine Productions under Tim Schafer. "I haven't done anything yet but I definitely want to." Gilbert thinks that Disney would be hesitant to pull the Monkey Island license out of storage when it would be much easier and more profitable to use the popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise for its piratical needs. "Pirates of the Caribbean is a rip-off of Monkey Island which is a rip-off of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride," he explains. Still, Gilbert can't begrudge Disney its success, given Monkey Island's origins. "It's hard for me to get too mad at Disney when I ripped them off originally."

While there's no hard timeline for when Gilbert wants to speak with Disney - or even a way to tell if such a talk would be successful - he has big plans if he's able to reacquire the license. "I would love to ... be able to really make the game I want to make." Given Gilbert's current place of employment, this means that any future Monkey Island games would come out as Double Fine titles under the leadership of adventure game guru Tim Schafer. It's admittedly difficult to find a flaw in this system.

Source: Eurogamer

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i'm touching myself at the prospect of this

That's funny, I always thought the PotC movies were made as a result of an inability to secure Monkey Island rights. Davy Jones is totally LeChuck.

If they get the ability to make a new game I would gladly buy it as long as they don't add RTS elements.

Yeah, but if HE gets it, will he make a new game or just sit on it?

It's been far far too long since I've had a proper Monkey Island game, and that includes the TTG release that I bought.

I love the Monkey Island series, I sadly missed out on many of them on their initial run. but I bought all of Tales of Monkey Island and the HD remakes of 1 and 2. I still wish I could get my hands on number 3 legit. Without having to deal with second hand merchants or dealing with compatability.

If they teamed up with Tell Tale again, if Ron wins Monkey Island back, I'd gladly pre order the moment it went up. Please Disney, if you're not going to do anything with the property, please just let him have it back, don't hold it for randsom or even worse, neglect it completely.

dragongit:
I love the Monkey Island series, I sadly missed out on many of them on their initial run. but I bought all of Tales of Monkey Island and the HD remakes of 1 and 2. I still wish I could get my hands on number 3 legit. Without having to deal with second hand merchants or dealing with compatability.

If they teamed up with Tell Tale again, if Ron wins Monkey Island back, I'd gladly pre order the moment it went up. Please Disney, if you're not going to do anything with the property, please just let him have it back, don't hold it for randsom or even worse, neglect it completely.

The pirates of the Caribbean ride opened in 1967, the film was released in 2003, 36 years later. The 4 moives so far have grossed $3.7 billion. It cost nothing to hold on to an ip for 36 years and by holding by holding them Disney have generated themselves an additional $3.7 billion in turnover. How much do you think paramount have made out of the star trek IP despite there being a 10 year gap between the end of the original series and the 1st film? Just because they are not doing anything at the moment with an IP doesn't mean in 10 years time that IP wont be worth billions.

Mumorpuger:
Yeah, but if HE gets it, will he make a new game or just sit on it?

It's been far far too long since I've had a proper Monkey Island game, and that includes the TTG release that I bought.

He's been saying basically FOREVER that if he had the opportunity, he'd make HIS Monkey Island 3, which I believe he refers to as Monkey Island 3a.

In any case, I don't think he wants MI BACK per se, I think he wants to get the licence so he can make a game with Disney's permission. I think. I don't know. Ask him =)

albino boo:

dragongit:
I love the Monkey Island series, I sadly missed out on many of them on their initial run. but I bought all of Tales of Monkey Island and the HD remakes of 1 and 2. I still wish I could get my hands on number 3 legit. Without having to deal with second hand merchants or dealing with compatability.

If they teamed up with Tell Tale again, if Ron wins Monkey Island back, I'd gladly pre order the moment it went up. Please Disney, if you're not going to do anything with the property, please just let him have it back, don't hold it for randsom or even worse, neglect it completely.

The pirates of the Caribbean ride opened in 1967, the film was released in 2003, 36 years later. The 4 moives so far have grossed $3.7 billion. It cost nothing to hold on to an ip for 36 years and by holding by holding them Disney have generated themselves an additional $3.7 billion in turnover. How much do you think paramount have made out of the star trek IP despite there being a 10 year gap between the end of the original series and the 1st film? Just because they are not doing anything at the moment with an IP doesn't mean in 10 years time that IP wont be worth billions.

But it's just like Ron Gilbert said, they already have the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise which also is much more well-known, why would they use Monkey Island which is a much greater risk for them? If Disney wants to do something with pirates they'll use the ones that already made them a couple of billions. They don't have any interest in Monkey Island, so they might as well let it go.

Trucken:

albino boo:

dragongit:
I love the Monkey Island series, I sadly missed out on many of them on their initial run. but I bought all of Tales of Monkey Island and the HD remakes of 1 and 2. I still wish I could get my hands on number 3 legit. Without having to deal with second hand merchants or dealing with compatability.

If they teamed up with Tell Tale again, if Ron wins Monkey Island back, I'd gladly pre order the moment it went up. Please Disney, if you're not going to do anything with the property, please just let him have it back, don't hold it for randsom or even worse, neglect it completely.

The pirates of the Caribbean ride opened in 1967, the film was released in 2003, 36 years later. The 4 moives so far have grossed $3.7 billion. It cost nothing to hold on to an ip for 36 years and by holding by holding them Disney have generated themselves an additional $3.7 billion in turnover. How much do you think paramount have made out of the star trek IP despite there being a 10 year gap between the end of the original series and the 1st film? Just because they are not doing anything at the moment with an IP doesn't mean in 10 years time that IP wont be worth billions.

But it's just like Ron Gilbert said, they already have the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise which also is much more well-known, why would they use Monkey Island which is a much greater risk for them? If Disney wants to do something with pirates they'll use the ones that already made them a couple of billions. They don't have any interest in Monkey Island, so they might as well let it go.

Do you have a time machine so that you can predict the future? How many people would have said that ride in amusement park would gross Disney an average of 84 million dollars a year? Can you say for certain that a major star in the film isn't going to commit a major crime in the future and destroy the value of the franchisee? There is zero risk and zero cost in continuing to own the the monkey island rights versus possibility that in 10 years time it could be worth billions. In terms of business decision its a no brainier, a zero risk for a small percentage chance of multi billion reward.

I only played the first Tales of Monkey Island game and I found it oddly disappointing and missing something. And I'm someone who entered the series with The Curse of Monkey Island and I still enjoy it thoroughly. I'm pretty sure Double Fine could do a better job than Telltale Games, even if Telltale did resurrect the adventure genre.

albino boo:

Trucken:

albino boo:

The pirates of the Caribbean ride opened in 1967, the film was released in 2003, 36 years later. The 4 moives so far have grossed $3.7 billion. It cost nothing to hold on to an ip for 36 years and by holding by holding them Disney have generated themselves an additional $3.7 billion in turnover. How much do you think paramount have made out of the star trek IP despite there being a 10 year gap between the end of the original series and the 1st film? Just because they are not doing anything at the moment with an IP doesn't mean in 10 years time that IP wont be worth billions.

But it's just like Ron Gilbert said, they already have the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise which also is much more well-known, why would they use Monkey Island which is a much greater risk for them? If Disney wants to do something with pirates they'll use the ones that already made them a couple of billions. They don't have any interest in Monkey Island, so they might as well let it go.

Do you have a time machine so that you can predict the future? How many people would have said that ride in amusement park would gross Disney an average of 84 million dollars a year? Can you say for certain that a major star in the film isn't going to commit a major crime in the future and destroy the value of the franchisee? There is zero risk and zero cost in continuing to own the the monkey island rights versus possibility that in 10 years time it could be worth billions. In terms of business decision its a no brainier, a zero risk for a small percentage chance of multi billion reward.

I may not have a time machine, but I can tell you my opinion. I'd rather have Ron get his property back, and do something with it in the next 2-5 years, then having Disney sit on the property for 10 years plus, for the "possibility" of doing something with it. I still want to be relativly young when the next installment comes out.Lord knows the most they do with the property, is make references to it in the next Pirates movie. Or worse still, Secrets of the caribbean. And who's to say Disney treats the property well?

I know this means nothing if Disney is hell bent on money, but it would be nice to give the rights of the franchise back to it's creators.

albino boo:

Trucken:

albino boo:

The pirates of the Caribbean ride opened in 1967, the film was released in 2003, 36 years later. The 4 moives so far have grossed $3.7 billion. It cost nothing to hold on to an ip for 36 years and by holding by holding them Disney have generated themselves an additional $3.7 billion in turnover. How much do you think paramount have made out of the star trek IP despite there being a 10 year gap between the end of the original series and the 1st film? Just because they are not doing anything at the moment with an IP doesn't mean in 10 years time that IP wont be worth billions.

But it's just like Ron Gilbert said, they already have the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise which also is much more well-known, why would they use Monkey Island which is a much greater risk for them? If Disney wants to do something with pirates they'll use the ones that already made them a couple of billions. They don't have any interest in Monkey Island, so they might as well let it go.

Do you have a time machine so that you can predict the future? How many people would have said that ride in amusement park would gross Disney an average of 84 million dollars a year? Can you say for certain that a major star in the film isn't going to commit a major crime in the future and destroy the value of the franchisee? There is zero risk and zero cost in continuing to own the the monkey island rights versus possibility that in 10 years time it could be worth billions. In terms of business decision its a no brainier, a zero risk for a small percentage chance of multi billion reward.

Granted, Disney holding onto the rights for Monkey Island won't cost them anything. But the only possibility for Monkey Island to become a billion dollar franchise is if Disney puts all it muscles behind it, and there's just no reason for them to do so. Sure, Pirates took a beating with the fourth movie (it sucked) but a franchise can always bounce back if treated correctly, just look at Batman. Pirates could easily make a Batman Begins-style comeback. Monkey Island just isn't that famous, and it sure as heck is nowhere near Star Trek which you mentioned earlier.

So, if we're just looking at business (which Disney most likely is doing) they might as well keep it 'just in case'. But at the same time they could just sell it to someone that wants to do something with it and make a few bucks that will basically be pennies to Disney.

Captcha: I think so.

Yes captcha, I sure do.

1. Fuck you, you gave you the rights. Being the original creator gives you no special power. If you want to control the IP don't give it up in the first place.

2. You work for Double Fine, unless you get the entire rest of the company behind you to make a game, or quit, you're not going to have the resources to make a game. You're going to wind up sitting on it with no hope of a new game as opposed to Disney who might sit on it or might make a game.

3. Stop talking about rip offs. You both ripped off the fantasy idealized notion of pirates. It existed before either of you.

4. Quit yapping and get back to work on securing the rights to make Psychonauts 2.

LavaLampBamboo:

Mumorpuger:
Yeah, but if HE gets it, will he make a new game or just sit on it?

It's been far far too long since I've had a proper Monkey Island game, and that includes the TTG release that I bought.

He's been saying basically FOREVER that if he had the opportunity, he'd make HIS Monkey Island 3, which I believe he refers to as Monkey Island 3a.

In any case, I don't think he wants MI BACK per se, I think he wants to get the licence so he can make a game with Disney's permission. I think. I don't know. Ask him =)

... to Twitter I go! I'll report back if I actually get a response.

can we get a Grim Fandango rerelease while we're at it?

cobra_ky:
can we get a Grim Fandango rerelease while we're at it?

Yes please! I'm one of the unlucky ones that missed that game the first go round. Would love to play it sometime!

albino boo:
The pirates of the Caribbean ride opened in 1967, the film was released in 2003, 36 years later. The 4 moives so far have grossed $3.7 billion. It cost nothing to hold on to an ip for 36 years and by holding by holding them Disney have generated themselves an additional $3.7 billion in turnover. How much do you think paramount have made out of the star trek IP despite there being a 10 year gap between the end of the original series and the 1st film? Just because they are not doing anything at the moment with an IP doesn't mean in 10 years time that IP wont be worth billions.

*snip*

Do you have a time machine so that you can predict the future? How many people would have said that ride in amusement park would gross Disney an average of 84 million dollars a year? Can you say for certain that a major star in the film isn't going to commit a major crime in the future and destroy the value of the franchisee? There is zero risk and zero cost in continuing to own the the monkey island rights versus possibility that in 10 years time it could be worth billions. In terms of business decision its a no brainier, a zero risk for a small percentage chance of multi billion reward.

That's actually incorrect. There IS a cost for holding IP - at the very least the trademark renewals. In addition, if you're actively managing the portfolio, you have all the legal, research, and advisory overheads, plus development that may never lead anywhere and defending the IP against infringement. It's several orders of magnitude below a "Live" IP, but it's not zero.

Second, you have to look at opportunity cost. Using your PotC example, assume the expected returns are approximately 15% (that number is pretty much taken straight from the Disney Annual Report - annual Studio Entertainment Revenue is $6,351bil, with $5,733bil in costs, plus a few extra percentage points for consumer products. That's probably on the generous side of curve, since we're talking about "hits"). But, of the portfolio of brands only around 1% are live at one time. So using your $3.7b in revenue translates to $550mil in profits, with an expected value for any one brand of $5.5mil. Discounting that back to 1967 using the Dow Jones as a benchmark, that translates to around $100k.

To put it another way, say Disney in 1967 had 100 trademarks and the Magic Mirror came to life and told them that by 2010 one of those trademarks was going to pull in $550mil in profits. But the other 99 are going to sit there and gather dust (i.e. break even). If I came in and offered a deal for $110k for one of those trademarks, Disney should absolutely take that deal. If they sold all 100 trademarks for $110k, that's $11mil... in 1967. Then they invest that $11mil in a balanced stock portfolio, and by 2010 that portfolio is worth $660mil - $110mil more than the Magic Mirror predicted they'd make. And they didn't have to do a damn thing for 40 years.

tl/dr - Money now is often better than a chance at money in the future.

cobra_ky:
can we get a Grim Fandango rerelease while we're at it?

Well there MAY be a movie, so a re-release isn't out of the question.

THE UNTITLED PIXAR MOVIE ABOUT DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS

Director: Lee Unkrich

Producer: Darla K. Anderson

From director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson, the filmmaking team behind the Academy Award®-winning Toy Story 3, comes a wholly original Pixar Animation Studios film that delves into the vibrant holiday of Da de los Muertos.

Source: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/biz/pixar-releases-upcoming-film-slate-at-cinemacon-61756.html

My argument for this is the film was announced while Disney was negotiating for LucasFilms, but no title given. Since the negotiations were double secret, they wouldn't have been able to release the title.

OH yeah, and weren't some of Pixar's people working with Lucas in the early days? Like when Grim Fandango would have been made?

Just my opinion.

Finally, Ron Gilbert is still a nut job. He didn't care who owned the rights while games weren't being made until Lucas made a butt load of money selling it to Disney. He's just looking to cash in.

If he was serious about the rights he could just offer Disney money to sell it to him. You know, like how businesses work in the real world.

 

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