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Producer tells us why LucasArts updated Monkey Island

7:00 PM on 06.17.2009 // Brad Nicholson

We talked a lot about Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition today, but one thing we haven’t touched is LucasArts motivation for creating it now. According to Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition producer Craig Derrick, LucasArts decided to update the title for three core reasons: fans wanted it, LucasArts wanted to create it, and making a new IP is “very difficult.”

Derrick added to his list in our interview, citing digital distribution as an important factor in making Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition possible. He believes digital distribution has caused an increase in retro gaming and thus appreciation.

“Plus, we're experiencing a remarkable increase in retro gaming and nostalgia thanks in part to the digital distribution of games on Xbox Live Arcade, PSN, Wiiware, Steam and iTunes,” Derrick told us. "We're seeing that gamers are looking for new experiences, even if they're found in classic games. The age range of the average gamer has significantly broadened and people are open now more than ever to different types of game genres."

More below the fold.

“When you take a classic like The Secret of Monkey Island with its timeless story, humorous characters and puzzles and situations; the fact that it has very little violence and that you can't die (well, maybe if you hold you're breath for more than 10 minutes you can) and you breathe new life into it by adding special edition features like high definition art, all new voice dialogue, updated controls and an in-game hint system and you start to see why we feel it was an easy decision to make.”

Still tickling our brains was the poorly received Escape from Monkey Island. Did the gap between the announcement of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition and the launch of Escape from Monkey Island have anything to do with gamers not being able to play a new Monkey Island game for over eight years?

 I mistakenly narrowed my question to the PlayStation 2 version of the game, but Derrick responded anyway: “There were a lot of factors involved with why we went so long between Monkey Island games, but I don't believe it was entirely due to the PlayStation 2 game.“


We’d like to thank Craig Derrick for his time and letting us know what was up with Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition.

Brad Nicholson,
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