The Monkey Island games were certainly some of the most memorable of the 90’s. After all, who can forget iconic video game characters like the daring pirate wannabe Guybrush Threepwood and the undead pirate Lechuck? These games were also genuinely funny, and it can be argued that the original Monkey Island game released in 1991 was one of the first video games that did not take itself seriously at all…
The last Monkey Island game made by video game company LucasArts (which is part of Lucasfilm) was released in 2000, and after that Disney bought Lucasfilm, with game development ceasing completely at LucasArts. And now that Disney has decided to pull out from video game development altogether (the company recently put an end to its Disney Infinity games and closed down development studio Avalance Software), the future of the Monkey Island franchise remains unclear.
And Ron Gilbert, who was the designer of the first two Monkey Island games, is certainly not happy about this state of affairs, and has pleaded to Disney in a Tweet to sell him the rights to his 90’s games, including Monkey Island.
Dear @Disney, now that you're not making games, please sell me my Monkey Island and Mansion Mansion IP. I'll pay real actual money for them.
— Ron Gilbert (@grumpygamer) May 23, 2016
So this clearly means that the veteran designer intents to make another Monkey Island game, but whether Disney will sell him the rights is a different matter altogether. The new game would likely not be a remaster, as the first two games in the series were already remastered (although 1997’s Curse of Monkey Island and 2001’s Escape from Monkey Island were not), but most likely a new story set in the Monkey Island universe.
In the end though, it remains to be seen whether gamers still have an appetite for Monkey Island’s brand of humour and classic adventure game format, but even if big-name publishers turn them down Ron Gilbert and co. could still resort to crowdfunding (a la Shenmue 3) to make a new Monkey Island game a reality. And here’s hoping that the veteran designer can work out some sort of deal with Disney and that we get to see iconic Monkey Island characters like Guybrush Threepwood and Elaine Marley in a video game soon.