Tim Schafer poses with Stephen Stanton (voice of Sasha Nein) before a large cardboard cut-out of his character. Sasha wears large gloves and has equally large scientist goggles over his eyes.
James Spafford holds a large cardboard cut-out of gums and gnarly teeth modeled after Doctor Loboto's mental landscape. He grimaces for the camera, showing his own chompers for comparison.
Tim Schafer stands on the outside deck of a house in Los Angeles in the evening. He wears large blue sunglasses as an open beer bottle rests by his side. Behind him, a surprisingly pastoral sunset begins to form over distant mountains.
Tim Schafer leans against a wall of Psychonauts art during a live demonstration at E3. He keeps a nervous hand to his chin. To his side, a young fan with blue-tinted hair smiles as the demo progresses.
Caryl Shaw and Kevin Johnson toast small plastic cups of champagne as the studio celebrates after the Microsoft acquisition. In the background, dozens of other Double Finers mingle.
Tim Schafer stands backstage at E3, waiting to announce Double Fine's acquisition by Microsoft. A beam of light cuts across his face as he stands at the ready with steepled hands.
AARON: It's been crazy having so many people working on Loboto.
-There is a lot of pops in this cutscene. -KEE: Yep.
PAUL: A lot is riding on this Loboto stage.
And the future of the company...
TIM: What?! No.
There is other things deciding that right now.
-Starbreeze. -TUCKER: Yep.
"Are we a company?"
GREG: Who knows what it's going to look like
in two-three months.
We have our top men working on this.
-[LAUGHTER] -ZACH: Oh, that's awesome.
This concludes our dailies.
-Thank you, everybody. -[CHEERING]
TIM: Uh, what's going to be announced is that we have signed
a letter of intent with Microsoft to acquire Double Fine.
So, Double Fine will be becoming part of Xbox Game Studios.
TIM: Why this happened was... a process that started--
It started-- we were looking for extra funding for Psychonauts.
And talking to various investors that we've been sharing in this meeting,
we've been talking to a lot of different investors.
And when we talked to Microsoft, they were like:
"Ah, we don't really do that kind of thing.
But what if we just-- what if we bought you guys?"
-And, um... -[LAUGHTER]
And we are like: "So-- so flirty!"
-And, um... -[LAUGHTER]
Uh, you know...
Like: "No, that's not really what we are about."
We are a very independent studio.
We've been independent for a long time.
It's very important to us.
GREG: But it really sounds like, from everything we've talked
and all the conversations we've had with Xbox
that the team won't really feel too much of a change.
They really, um--
have this concept of an unplugged studio,
um, where they are kind of trying to stay out of people's way.
And, like, find developers that they, um, you know, are excited about,
and that are making games that they are happy with,
and just kind of let them do their thing.
Like, Microsoft really, really values Double Fine.
Like, it was clear in their offer and everything,
how they approached us, and how they wooed the company,
they really see a lot of value.
And it's really a great recognition of everything
that everyone here has been doing for the last twenty years.
I think we are all really excited about the stability that it'll bring.
I mean, what it does mean for the P2 schedule is it's longer.
I'd say longer. Longer than it was before, which was--
How much longer?!
TIM: It doesn't mean that we run out when the Starbreeze money runs out,
which is, like, months ago.
The game is going to get the attention that it needs and deserves.
PAUL: And you guys are leaving-- You leave tonight? Tomorrow?
Yeah, so I leave tomorrow for LA, for E3.
I've been doing, like, final scrambling of assets, and builds, and things.
E3 is a special show for me.
It was my first ever game show.
Ten years ago I met Tim at E3.
Uh... the first day of E3.
So, that anniversary is coming up soon.
Um, and we've had a lot of really good ones.
Um, we've had a lot of--
Like, Tim and I had been in Microsoft press conferences before.
I was, like, backstage playing Once Upon a Monster
while he was out talking about it.
Uh, but this definitely feels like it will be
the biggest one we've ever done.
Uh, this is going to be announced on stage at E3.
And I'm going to have to go out on stage and say something.
And they didn't like my script,
so I have to come up with a new script.
I bought a Microsoft button-down shirt and everything.
And they are just like: "That's not funny."
TIM: So nothing about us is going to change at all!
I'm not listening to anything right now.
GREG: So, I think it's still kind of setting in for all of us.
And it probably won't be until we are down there in LA,
like, about to go on that stage, that it all totally sinks in.
But it's going to be life-changing for him,
and for the studio, and everybody.
-Congrats! -Congratulations to you!
It must be a load off-- It's gotta be a load off--
I don't know what I'll do with the part of my brain
that used to worry about money.
PAUL: Okay, good. Let's do it!
GREG: Let's do it!
GREG: We are early!
Yeah, you know, we did the documentary about the making of the last game.
And we are doing a documentary about this one too.
Uh... oh my god, the camera is right there!
-Don't notice them! -Yeah, I know, that's why I was asking.
Yeah, you are on it!
TIM: Uh, it's supposed to be about the--
to me, like, showing people at the creative process and stuff.
But whenever I'm being embarrassed,
Paul always shows up to make sure it's captured.
Whenever I'm getting my hair make-up done.
All right. Thank you so much!
We are going to announce (the acquisition).
I've never come to E3 this early before.
Usually we come, just show up for three days,
do a bunch of press and leave.
And this time we've been practicing...
uh, all weekend.
It's a big deal!
Phil has got a Psychonauts shirt on.
You are distorting it with your muscles!
And my Sub Pop coat!
Oh, that is so punk rock!
Am I-- How do I look?
Do I look like I have cream cheese?
I just ate a bagel.
My worst nightmare.
I should not have eaten that bagel with cream cheese...
PAUL: No, you are okay.
...right before I go-- I'm in costume.
Believe it or not, this is my fancy outfit for going out on stage.
Oh, man, I'm only wearing one pair of socks!
-[LAUGHTER] -You gotta top me in every way!
Every way! You are so competitive!
"Oh, how many-- How many pairs is Tim wearing?
One? Just one? Okay."
MARY: That was my call last night.
What are you even doing looking at that?
Good to see you again!
-How are you doing? -Hi, hi, hi.
Were you with us at, um... 2002 E3? 2003?
MATT: I'mma duck out.
TIM: Yeah, yeah, and we went to E3 2002.
And we won best of E3.
-JEN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. -TIM: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
JEN: And I was there when you guys used to be in the garage!
TIM: Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay!
JEN: I was talking to Greg about that.
That was crazy!
TIM: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
JEN: When you, like, have to step over everyone
coming in the door in the morning.
And look how it's all come full circle!
-Here we are at E3 with Psychonauts again. -Here you are!
I know! So excited!
I was like: "Yes! There you go!"
-Are you excited? -Yeah.
It's going to be crazy. People are going to--
I don't know what people are going to think,
but it will be something!
TIM: I've been doing-- I've been calling people.
Just last minute notifications to people like...
Khris Brown, and Peter McConnell, and...
I can't get a hold of Peter Chan!
I'm trying to tell Peter Chan before he finds out!
I don't want him to find out in the-- in the news.
TIM: I gotta make a phone call!
I will be hiding in the corner, making phone calls.
-Sorry! -MATT: No worries!
There is no more quiet corners in this room now,
there are so many people in it.
TIM: Well, no, the news is that we are getting acquired.
We are getting acquired. We are getting bought by Microsoft.
-Yeah. -PETER: That is great news!
-PETER: Congratulations. -TIM: It's going to be great.
TIM: It's going to be fine.
It actually makes me feel excited
about coming up with creative ideas again of my own.
Like, being able to run a project without--
I won't have to do any more Biz Dev,
like, I won't have to do any more pitching.
I won't have to do any more traveling road shows, you know?
And... asking for permission for things.
We can just make fun games,
and then just tell them what we are doing, and...
...put them up.
It will be great.
PHIL: I just think it's-- I love the circle of the whole thing.
I mean, it's-- it's very cool.
I need to get down to the studio at some point.
Now we just gotta wait.
I want to go out on stage now and get this thing done!
TIM: I'm just tired now.
I'm gonna mess it up on stage!
I'm gonna blow my lines!
Keep it together! Keep it--
Keep it secret. Keep it safe.
It's almost over!
It's almost happening!
-So close! -So close!
MARY: You guys are forty-three minutes in.
TIM: Forty-three minutes in.
Oh, I just want to do it now.
Can we just do it now and film it?
Uh, copy, everyone, Tim wants to go now.
TIM: "Fuck it! We've gotta start with Tim! He is antsy."
"Tim is first."
That is us!
TIM: Phil! Yay!
PHIL: Welcome to E3 2019!
TIM: Had to come out after Keanu Reeves.
That was fun.
Good luck, good luck, good luck!
You are going to do great! You are going to do great!
MATT: I'm honored today to announce
that joining Xbox Studios is...
Double Fine Productions!
MATT: Please join me in welcoming
the founder and president of Double Fine Productions,
Thank you so much!
And thank you, Matt!
We are so excited to be joining Xbox Game Studios!
And I am here to personally reassure you, Matt.
I don't know what you've heard, but I am a team player.
Whatever you need from Double Fine, we'll make for you.
Uh, Halo stuff.
Uh, Forza stuff.
Whatever you want, we are there!
MATT: Tim, we just want you to make great games.
TIM: Oh, that's such a relief, because I was totally lying!
In that case, we brought a brand new trailer for Psychonauts 2!
Take a look if you dare!
CARYL: How are you doing, Tim?
Good. You guys, cheers!
-GREG: We did it! -Yay!
SPAFF: Team Metal, the cool guys!
GREG: Um, awesome! People are going to start showing up here
...in ten minutes!
So, yeah, I wanted to let everybody know what's going on.
That's the key, is you want to set the buzz early in the week
with all the big outlets,
so that then people are coming throughout the rest of the week.
-TIM: That's awesome! -GREG: I think we are about to get going.
TIM: Uh, do we have a first group?
-GREG: Yeah, they are almost there, yeah. -TIM: Okay.
GREG: Happy E3, everybody! It's begun.
TIM: So, are you guys mostly media or other things too?
Um, Psychonauts, as you remember, is an action-adventuring platformer.
Action-- I said action-adventuring,
that's how you can tell it's the first demo.
And so, their first mission, they--
the Psychonauts would do what they do best, which is do kind of
a Mission Impossible-type heist inside the mind.
GREG: All right!
This is the first puzzle in the game.
-[LAUGHTER] -Get it started.
We wanted to make sure people really know what they are doing.
Can we get Aaron?
TIM: Welcome to the world of E3 demos!
-Something that was working 5 minutes ago. -GREG: Yeah, exactly.
AARON: So, like, we get everything set up.
And we are testing everything, and getting everything calibrated.
And, like: "Okay, we got everything running well."
And then Tim goes in to run the first demo.
And, like, a minute later someone comes out and grabs me, like:
"Aaron, the controller doesn't work!"
And Tim is like: "Hey, everybody, this is our programmer.
We are gonna get everything figured out!"
TIM: One of our fine programmers at Double Fine.
Yeah, it keeps popping up and losing it.
Do you want me to grab one?
AARON: Turns out we had a couple of USB extension cables chained together,
and the computer didn't like that too well.
Anyway, it was easy to fix!
RAZ: Three days ago...
All right, we are in!
TIM: So, I did a few demos for the press.
The early ones for the press were--
you know, they are factually-based, stoic.
Um, writing down things, like: "Regrets! Doubts."
LOBOTO: Why are you taking so... long?
I don't think you understand the...
...gravity of the situation you are in.
TUCKER: That's a metaphor for our demo experience.
It's kind of interesting, you have the, uh...
like, all of the press and media people go through.
And they are, basically, like, stone-faced the entire time.
It's kind of terrifying to go through and watch them play.
GEOFF: They want to keep that, like, 'I am remaining impartial' kind of vibe.
It is a little weird having people write their articles
about the game you are live demoing.
NAOKO: But at the end,
Truman Zanotto, who is the grand head of the Psychonauts--
Sorry, the camp is run by the Psychonauts.
I totally-- that's really important.
And I just forgot about that, I'm sorry.
I feel like I'm just biffing it, making the company look bad.
AARON: But, uh...
Yeah, it's been really interesting.
Like, there-- there is a huge difference
between watching the press or media sit through one of the playthroughs
Has anyone played the first Psychonauts game before?
Oh my god! So many of you!
One guy, who I loved from last night--
Um, I asked if anybody played it.
And he was just, like: "You weren't even born then!"
And I'm like...
"Yeah, no, I've been born!"
-TIM: Hi, you all. -Hello!
I'm so used to doing these for the press,
where people are just like: "Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm."
You guys are a much more smiley bunch.
Well, welcome to our demo!
And thanks for coming in to check out Psychonauts 2!
Raise your hand if you played the first game.
Anyone played the first game? Okay.
TIM: And then we did some for fans,
and they were much more boisterous, and loud, and laughing at things.
And that was really fun.
LILI: Think we should burn it?
Oh, you haven't changed, have you?
AARON: But then you have a group of fans come in,
and they get all excited, and they laugh at all the jokes,
and they get excited when the characters are reintroduced,
and there is new enemies, and all that kind of stuff.
So, that part is pretty great.
TIM: Yay, thanks for watching! Yay!
Uh, well, cool! I hope you liked that.
And right after then, uh, Raz dies
and the game goes into a dream sequence.
Raz wakes up and he is on the jet with Dr. Loboto.
TIM: Hi! Hi, thank you.
Woo-hoo! Thanks for coming, everybody!
Oh, you guys!
This is so amazing!
This is such a huge thing!
TIM: Uh, Scott Campbell came up.
[SCOTT VOCALIZES EXCITEMENT]
-It's real life! -That's amazing!
Whoa-ow! That's amazing!
Isn't that great? Like we always hoped and dreamed.
SCOTT: Wait! That's exactly what it was supposed to be!
TIM: "...our sales are good, so fuck off!"
-SCOTT: Which guy said it? -TIM: The guy in the front!
So, there you go.
Yeah, it looks great, dude!
I'll cover up my microphone,
you want to say what do you really--
What do you really think about the art?
(Uh... thumbs down, needs work.)
TIM: Oh, Khris Brown came by.
And Nicki Rapp, who does the voice of Lili.
She is a great friend of ours, and she came by,
and it was so nice to see her.
Because she lives in LA!
So it was nice to come down here to see her.
And then, Stephen Stanton. Also lives down here.
He does the voice of Sasha Nein.
Um, and he came by.
And he actually got to watch the demo.
And, uh... that was fun.
JACK: Everybody who is anybody in the gaming world is here.
I think I just saw Larry Nintendo.
Psychonauts 2! Woo!
We got nominated for some awards.
Oh, we got another one!
-Pretzel? -I'm okay.
Are the prices before or after tax?
Are these someone's glasses?
WILL: It's been going amazing!
Like, people coming out of the demo are saying a lot of awesome stuff to us.
And... they all want shirts and pins.
Did you want a Raz pin as well?
Or did you want just the powers?
Yeah, and, uh, E3 exclusives this year are the black light poster,
and the cover art print.
AARON: We are sitting out here.
Running merch stuff...
All of a sudden we see, like, all the lights
in the entire convention center flicker for a second.
I'm like: "Oh, that's weird!
Wait a minute!"
I go open the door to the demo thing.
And sure enough, like, everything is shut down and dead.
And I'm like: "Oh, crap!"
So, we had to-- we had to, you know--
whoever was in there, we had to usher them out.
And then we figured: "Okay, we'll just boot everything back up,
it'll be fine."
Then I get back in there...
and the TV is drawing, like,
every other line of pixels is just, like, this solid black line.
So, I had my laptop with me.
I rushed my laptop in there, and, like, plugged things in,
and trying to figure out, like, what has failed, what is broken?
Um, and was real nervous there for a moment
that I was going to have to, like, call in someone
to go run down to the nearby Target and buy us a new TV or something.
Uh, after finagling with the sound system and resetting it a couple times,
it eventually sorted itself out.
AARON: Wait, wait!
-I did it! -Oh, yeah!
AARON: But, yeah, I'm guessing
there was, like, a power surge or something,
and something in the sound system did not like that.
JACK: There was a power surge.
Sam is stoked about the power surge.
There was, like, a loud, like:
[JACK VOCALIZES POWER GOING OUT]
JACK: But we still have power.
TIM: You know-- Jack is such a lovely person, you know.
And his family is fun.
And, um, they were very-- they were very inclusive,
they let us hung out in the dressing room with them.
Including my entourage that showed up behind me.
I looked around behind me and was like: "Why are there four people behind me?
Oh, I'm going to Jack's dressing room. That's why."
JACK: Hey, Tim's friends and associates!
TIM: You are not going to show me eating a hamburger with Jack Black, are you?
PAUL: Just the sounds.
But the tour was great, right?
Okay is it time to go up?
You guys, I think it's time for us to go on stage.
JACK: Did Bill Gates wine and dine ya?
I didn't want to name drop, but, uh...
It took multiple dinners.
In the wallet!
TIM: Um, we got invited to the Xbox employee appreciation party.
Which felt funny, because we are like: "Wow, we are employees!"
I mean, I guess a lot of people have been employees, but me.
And now I was like: "Employees!"
Um, but that was really nice, because we got to meet
a lot of the people from the other companies,
like Ninja Theory and...
I saw some old friends that work on the Forza team,
from LucasArts, and, uh... LucasArts days.
I mean, yeah, it was a very warm welcome.
We've had catered food before! Big deal, big deal.
Not impressed, Microsoft!
[PARTY MUSIC IS PLAYING]
ZAHRA: I'm ready.
...the whole pack is gone.
ZAHRA: I think-- I think-- I need some me time tomorrow.
Social bar is...
...going up and down.
I mean, I'm ready to go home.
There is a creep behind me.
SPAFF: It's a hard show! Like, it doesn't look hard,
but when you come and do it, it's tiring!
You know, it's just--
It's a lot of being always on.
Like, talking to people, and standing up,
and, you know, working on things.
I'm about to pass out! So, it's good to keep running.
I could use a cup of coffee.
LISETTE: Tucker's been playing well.
LISETTE: You almost missed it, but it added a little tension.
Enjoy your last moments of E3!
TIM: And then, we got a bunch of awards!
If you saw, we got nominations and awards from different media outlets for the game.
And the team got to see that, and that was nice!
AARON: We just received another award.
Oh, what a segue!
-Best Teeth of Show. -Shacknews!
Best Teeth! Shacknews!
SPAFF: We won the Best Teeth of Show from Shacknews.
So... job done.
It's nice to have all those nominations and awards up there.
I don't think we've ever had that many for a thing, so.
It's cool! I even know who some of them are!
-Hi, nice to meet you! -The game looks amazing, thank you!
-What? -The game look amazing, thank you!
Oh, you saw the demo? Oh, awesome, thanks for watching!
-Thanks for watching! -Yes, of course!
The first one was awesome, so I cannot wait for this one.
Oh, that's awesome!
SPAFF: So, it's quieting down, but, you know, the team is still here.
We've sold out of shirts.
Uh, we've sold out a bunch of other merch.
Demos are still filling up.
But it's going to be nice to just get out of here.
Yeah, look at that creep!
Yeah, it's been really, really good.
I'm super glad we came.
Made our funny little booth, and...
Yeah, it's been really, really, really good.
TIM: Now we are all relaxing.
This is kind of our end of E3 party at the Airbnb we rented.
Everyone is swimming or eating, uh... barbecue,
and chilling out by the fire pit.
TIM: Oh god, this will help dry my swimsuit!
But, yeah, nothing but lovely things happened all week.
So that was really nice.