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Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support

A comment on reddit has follow up to comments made almost exactly one year ago by Markus "Notch" Persson about being willing to fund Psychonauts 2, a sequel to Double Fine's adventure game. Notch explains what's changed: "I somewhat naively thought 'a couple of million' was two million. I had no doubt in my mind that a Psychonauts 2 would earn that money back easily. Turns out they wanted 18 million dollars, haha. I don't have the time at the moment to even try to get educated enough to make an eighteen million dollar deal. Perhaps in some distant future when I'm no longer trying to make games, I could get into angel investing. I've made one private investment into a game so far, at 100k, and it's frankly a lot more work than I thought." Thanks VG247 via PCGamesN.

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58 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 3.
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18. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 13:17 Beamer
 
Fibrocyte wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 12:06:
So he'll invest 2 million and let them find the rest from other investors, right?

No, because he is well aware he'd be throwing that money down the drain.

He thinks a Psychonauts 2 could easily take back $2 million. He likely does not think they could take back $18 million.
 
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17. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 12:40 Orphic Resonance
 
Fibrocyte wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 12:36:
Grossly lowballing the estimate.

what? 18 mil is "grossly lowballing" a game dev cycle? dont think so

maybe if you include advertising.. but i wouldnt consider that part of the deal, if its privately funded to begin with

18 mil is easily a AAA dev budget if you dont include marketing
 
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16. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 12:36 Fibrocyte
 
DrEvil wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 12:12:
Cutter wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 12:04:
DrEvil wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 11:59:
Cutter wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 09:29:
18 million for Psychonauts? Cereal? Every Friday is free coke and hookers at the office or what?


Do you have any idea how much it costs to pay even 10 people a reasonable salary plus benefits, have insurance for your company, and pay for its existence (incorporation papers, etc.)? $1MM dollars isn't even enough to pay the salary, let alone everything else, especially in the California Bay Area for a year. I won't even get into the real estate costs out here.

With that said, I personally think $18MM is more than I expected. I didn't expect more than $10MM.

Yes, actually I do know because I've run several business with a dozen plus employees. Using your example that would probably be around 600k+/-. Even really pushing it with nicer offices, higher salary and better benefits, etc. let's call it a million. We're still talking about Psychonauts here. How it could go beyond 2 mil is beyond me, so yeah, I totally get where Notch is coming from on this. I'd dearly LOVE to see how DF breaks down this 18 mil.

I have no idea how you could not see it going beyond $2MM. Just the salary + benefits for 10 developers and artists in the California Bay Area for two years alone is easily more than $2MM.

And yes, it would have been interesting to see the breakdown.

Without knowing the scope of the game, estimated development time, platforms supported, etc. this is all armchair guesses anyway.

But I think you're still lowballing the estimate.

Grossly lowballing the estimate. We're talking about software engineering here, not a maid business where you can pay all of your illegals minimum wage (i.e. Cutter's Cleaners).
 
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15. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 12:23 AngelicPenguin
 
Cutter wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 09:29:
18 million for Psychonauts? Cereal? Every Friday is free coke and hookers at the office or what?


Maybe DF was trying to get what they could.

I'm envisioning a follow up conversation like "18 million? No no, we said 8 million."
 
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14. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 12:12 DrEvil
 
Cutter wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 12:04:
DrEvil wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 11:59:
Cutter wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 09:29:
18 million for Psychonauts? Cereal? Every Friday is free coke and hookers at the office or what?


Do you have any idea how much it costs to pay even 10 people a reasonable salary plus benefits, have insurance for your company, and pay for its existence (incorporation papers, etc.)? $1MM dollars isn't even enough to pay the salary, let alone everything else, especially in the California Bay Area for a year. I won't even get into the real estate costs out here.

With that said, I personally think $18MM is more than I expected. I didn't expect more than $10MM.

Yes, actually I do know because I've run several business with a dozen plus employees. Using your example that would probably be around 600k+/-. Even really pushing it with nicer offices, higher salary and better benefits, etc. let's call it a million. We're still talking about Psychonauts here. How it could go beyond 2 mil is beyond me, so yeah, I totally get where Notch is coming from on this. I'd dearly LOVE to see how DF breaks down this 18 mil.

I have no idea how you could not see it going beyond $2MM. Just the salary + benefits for 10 developers and artists in the California Bay Area for two years alone is easily more than $2MM.

And yes, it would have been interesting to see the breakdown.

Without knowing the scope of the game, estimated development time, platforms supported, etc. this is all armchair guesses anyway.

But I think you're still lowballing the estimate.
 
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13. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 12:06 Fibrocyte
 
So he'll invest 2 million and let them find the rest from other investors, right?  
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12. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 12:04 Cutter
 
DrEvil wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 11:59:
Cutter wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 09:29:
18 million for Psychonauts? Cereal? Every Friday is free coke and hookers at the office or what?


Do you have any idea how much it costs to pay even 10 people a reasonable salary plus benefits, have insurance for your company, and pay for its existence (incorporation papers, etc.)? $1MM dollars isn't even enough to pay the salary, let alone everything else, especially in the California Bay Area for a year. I won't even get into the real estate costs out here.

With that said, I personally think $18MM is more than I expected. I didn't expect more than $10MM.

Yes, actually I do know because I've run several business with a dozen plus employees. Using your example that would probably be around 600k+/-. Even really pushing it with nicer offices, higher salary and better benefits, etc. let's call it a million. We're still talking about Psychonauts here. How it could go beyond 2 mil is beyond me, so yeah, I totally get where Notch is coming from on this. I'd dearly LOVE to see how DF breaks down this 18 mil.
 
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11. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 11:59 DrEvil
 
Cutter wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 09:29:
18 million for Psychonauts? Cereal? Every Friday is free coke and hookers at the office or what?


Do you have any idea how much it costs to pay even 10 people a reasonable salary plus benefits, have insurance for your company, and pay for its existence (incorporation papers, etc.)? $1MM dollars isn't even enough to pay the salary, let alone everything else, especially in the California Bay Area for a year. I won't even get into the real estate costs out here.

With that said, I personally think $18MM is more than I expected. I didn't expect more than $10MM.
 
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10. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 11:53 Dev
 
Panickd wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 10:19:
Wow. Given the number and types of games being made on meager budgets from Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sites
Don't fool yourself into thinking the lowball few thousand figures on kickstarter are what good games usually cost to make. Most people doing it for just a few thousand have another job, and are doing this as a hobby, already have housing lined up (perhaps living with a relative), etc. The art/sound are often gratis (in return for a portion of the proceeds) by artists just starting out.
A number of kickstarters I've backed like that have run out of money in just a few months.
One of them basically said he would cut back to doing it in his spare time and added a year onto the expected release. At this point I'm wondering if it will ever come out.
 
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9. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 11:33 ansurez
 
Haha, $18 million for a wacky little platformer. That's severely deluded, especially when the first Psychonauts cost $13 million and was a commercial failure.  
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8. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 11:19 McSterls
 
Cutter wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 09:29:
18 million for Psychonauts? Cereal? Every Friday is free coke and hookers at the office or what?


Coke AND Hookers, sign me up!
 
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7. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 10:19 Panickd
 
Wow. Given the number and types of games being made on meager budgets from Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sites I was thinking maybe $4 million tops for a Psychonauts 2. But $18 million? Folks at Double Fine must be smoking some good stuff.  
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6. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 09:33 Verno
 
It always kind of a naive comment so I'm not sure anyone really expected anything serious to come of it.  
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5. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 09:29 Cutter
 
18 million for Psychonauts? Cereal? Every Friday is free coke and hookers at the office or what?

 
Avatar 25394
 

"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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4. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 09:00 nin
 
Could Psychonauts 2 even recoup an 18 million investment?

I'd be a little surprised if it did. Sadly.

 
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3. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 08:56 Armengar
 
TBH if I had said a couple of million I wouldnt have assumed 18 either.  
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2. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 08:54 McSterls
 
SXO wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 08:45:
At least he's honest and straightforward about it. He foolishly made a verbal (typed) commitment without realizing exactly what it entailed, and once he was made aware of it, he reneged. An honest mistake many people that suddenly came into money for the first time could make.

Agreed. No one can say Notch is a bad guy for backpedaling. Could Psychonauts 2 even recoup an 18 million investment? I know the first one was a pretty amazing game, but it wasn't a financial success, right?
 
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1. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 08:45 SXO
 
At least he's honest and straightforward about it. He foolishly made a verbal (typed) commitment without realizing exactly what it entailed, and once he was made aware of it, he reneged. An honest mistake many people that suddenly came into money for the first time could make.  
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58 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 3.
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