All of Double Fine's games sold better than you think
If you thought Double Fine Productions was the little-indie-studio-that-could, what Tim Schafer said in a recent Reddit Q&A may surprise you.
"Every game we’ve made at Double Fine has made a profit," he wrote. "We just haven’t had a blockbuster yet. Luckily, our business plan isn’t dependent on blockbusters. You can make a lot of money off a game that sells less than that if you keep your costs down and plan ahead."
Even early games like Full Throttle, which Schafer made at LucasArts, were successful. "Full Throttle was actually a big hit. Gave me the money I eventually used to found Double Fine."
So while Double Fine may not necessarily be selling several million copies of its games — a blockbuster today is "like six million or more" compared to "the old days, [when] it was selling a million copies," said Schafer — it is doing well.
He said, "The truth is I always act as if I didn’t have to worry about profits, had all the money in the world, and no technical limits. Maybe that’s why my games are considered 'niche,' why they go over budget, and why my programmers have to work so hard."
Schafer expressed interest in making sequels to some of his games in the future. Psychonauts is one possibility. "Maybe Costume Quest because I'm reminded of that game every year! Lots of untold stuff in the Brütal Legend world as well."
Grim Fandango is out, though, as Disney owns the rights now, but Schafer said working with the property again is something he thinks about often. "Hopefully, that will be possible someday."
You can grab some of these games in the Humble Double Fine Bundle going on now.