Last week, we reported that Deus Ex creator Warren Spector is interested in recovering his unreleased concepts from Disney. He mentioned three ideas under development at Junction Point before it was shut down by the House of Mouse.
Another developer has chimed in that he would love to see his intellectual property come home. Ron Gilbert, who developed Maniac Mansion and the Monkey Island games under LucasArts would like to see them returned.
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
These requests come after Disney shut down its in-house console publishing business and canceled Disney Infinity. While the company will continue to license out its intellectual property, including Marvel and Star Wars, it doesn’t plan to directly have a hand in development.
In Gilbert’s case, the disposition of these games follows a winding path that started with Disney’s purchase of LucasFilm and LucasArts in October 2012. When LucasArts was closed in April 2013, amidst mourning for his former home, Gilbert saw a glimmer of hope that this might mean Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion might be available for him to purchase.
Whether Disney will loosen its grip on some of these older and, in some cases, clearly abandoned franchises is anyone’s guess. How could they turn down Gilbert’s offer of “real actual money,” though?
Given how solid Thimbleweed Park is looking after my hands-on at PAX East, I’d love to see these franchises back in Gilbert’s hands. Maniac Mansion holds a special place in my twisted heart, and I’d love to revisit that world. Disney has no obligation to let these properties go, but it could earn a lot of good will by selling them back to their original creators at a fair price.