This fan made film, Inceptionauts, was used by Tim Schafer in meetings with publishers to try and sell the idea of a sequel to Psychonauts. "It's better than any trailer we ever had for the game" Tim Schafer said to Kotaku. But it wasn't enough to persuade any businesses to part with their money, until Notch went onto Twitter last week with a simple message. "Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen."
"I feel like I was being proposed to on the jumbotron at the baseball game." says Schafer, but an offer on Twitter is one thing, a publishing deal is another. A sequel would need to at least match the budget of the original, which cost around $13 million to make. Schafer told Notch how much cash he might need to front production. "As soon as I mentioned the amount of money he said, 'Yeah, I can do that.'"
It's still not a done deal, there are private negotiations happening between Mojang and Double Fine. From a cold numbers perspective, a follow up to Psychonauts is a bit of a risk. Schafer told Kotaku that the original sold just 400,000 copies initially. "It wasn't enough for us to make money," Schafer admits, but since then sales on Good Old Games and Steam have gone extremely well. One of those Steam sales pushed Psychonauts ahead of Call of Duty in revenue earned that day.
Schafer also mentions that Double Fine have had a sequel in mind from the beginning. "We had a lot of plot elements that were backstory in that game that we planned on revisiting in the future and tying it back in," Schafer said. "We had a longer story arc planned for those characters." He's being coy about specifics, though he says that there are "ideas to take them to a more international setting."
Double Fine have been having a few funding adventures recently. Their kickstarter campaign to support development of a new adventure game currently has $1.7 million in donations.