Tim Schafer - legendary game designer and head honcho at Double Fine Productions - would like to remaster more of the classic games published by LucasArts. The only thing standing in the way is The Walt Disney Corporation, who acquired the rights to LucasArts and all their properties when they purchased Lucasfilm in 2012.
Originally founded as Lucasfilm Games in 1982, LucasArts was one of the biggest PC game publishers in the world in the late 1980s and 1990s. The company first found fame in the adventure game genre, where it was one of "The Big Two" along with rival Sierra On-Line. Renamed LucasArts in 1990, the company would go on to produce some of the most beloved adventure games of all time, including the Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island series. After the release of the fourth Monkey Island game in 2000, the company shifted focus from original content to licensed games based on Star Wars and Indiana Jones, before being shut down as an internal developer by Disney in 2013.
Schafer spoke about his past at LucasArts and his desire to update some of their classic works for modern systems in an interview with PC Gamer. Schafer has already seen great success in updating three of his earliest directorial efforts - Grim Fandango, Full Throttle and Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle at Double Fine and would like to continue. The only problem is Disney has to be willing to revive the old properties and let the original creators try to improve on these classic works.
That's what makes those remasters special, that the original creators came back and were able to say what to improve on, what to leave alone. It's been enough time that there's some value in going back and looking at [classic games]. Also, they were falling apart. They weren't available anymore, they didn't run so you'd have to pirate them if you wanted to buy some of them. We thought it was time.
Schafer further confessed that he wasn't originally sure about revisiting his old work, being inclined to start new projects, finish them and move on to the next big thing. Ultimately, Schafer is glad that he chose to try and save these classic games for a new generation of adventurers.
"I got to make sure they were done right, and still be associated with the new versions of the game and not let someone else do that. That was really important to me. So I'm glad we did that."
It's unclear just which specific games Schafer would want to remaster. The three Double Fine remasters produced so far constitute all of his directorial works for LucasArts and the first two Monkey Island games (which Schafer co-wrote) were remastered by LucasArts before it was bought by Disney. There have been some fan efforts to remake the original Maniac Mansion with an art style consistent with that of Day of the Tentacle, but that might constitute more of an original game than a remastering given the age of Maniac Mansion.
One of the most likely candidates might be Sam and Max Hit The Road, based on the classic underground comic by Steve Purcell, which is considered by many to be the funniest adventure game of all time. This would, however, require additional negotiations with Purcell, who reacquired all the rights to Sam and Max in 2005. Another possibility is Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis - which won multiple Game of the Year awards and was almost adapted for the screen as the fourth Indiana Jones movie.
Source: PC Gamer