Kevin Johnson, senior producer of Double Fine, tweeted today that the next Psychonauts 2 had been done without "any problems". It’s fair to be skeptical of claims that there are no parenting issues that come from older people in a gaming studio; workers often reveal overwork, not the people who manage them, but it’s the producer’s job to manage the work schedule and you wouldn’t. wait for Johnson to raise the question if he knew it could be contradicted.
Johnson went on to say that he is "proud to have been a part of something so special that has been done on the schedule we set out," and that he believes players will have fun too.
Curious facts: Psychonauts 2 has not had any problems The team has been amazing and I am proud to have been part of something so special that has been done in the programming that we have exposed. I think you’ll have fun too. 😄June 19, 2021
Psychonauts 2 has been in development for some time, since it was officially announced in 2015, which means it would also have been in production some time before. It was originally scheduled for a 2019 version, and was delayed twice until 2020 and is now the current scheduled release date of August 2021.
One of the delays of Psychonauts was due to the acquisition of Double Fine from Microsoft in 2019. Founder Tim Schafer then said that they ran out of money and reduced content, so the acquisition gave the studio the resources to re-add things like head-to-head fights. The delay in 2020 was calmer, but the schedules and pipes of many studios were affected by the change to remote work last year.
If it’s true that the game goes smoothly, it’s good to see Johnson say it out loud, even if the development isn’t over yet. Worker abuse is not a necessary part of making a game, and gaining good faith among players to make a game smoothly can be expected to only encourage other studies to set reasonable expectations and deadlines for employees.
Psychonauts 2 will be released on Steam and Xbox Game Pass on August 25th.