Ron Gilbert no longer wants to talk about “Return to Monkey Island”: “People are just mean and I have to delete personal attacks,” writes the head of development and adventure pioneer in his blog. He has closed the comment column and will not post anything more about the upcoming point and click adventure.
The background is the discussion about the modern art style of the new adventure edition, which is dividing the community. Rather than emulating the pixelated style of the originals, Gilbert and his team opted for a modern graphic style. Gilbert’s Studio Terrible Toybox recently demonstrated the art style in motion via gameplay video for the first time.
“Play it or don’t play it, but don’t spoil it for everyone else,” Gilbert addressed the critics in what appears to be his last blog entry for the upcoming adventure. “I lost the joy of talking about the game.” The extensive comments reveal isolated criticism of the graphic style, according to Gilbert, the worst outliers have already been deleted.
Dominic Armato, the voice of main character Guybrush Threepwood, is backing Gilbert. “Nice job guys,” Armato etches, referring to Gilbert’s blog post on Twitter. He also saw polite discussions about the art style, but many comments on the blog were a total “shit show”.
Dissatisfaction in the community with the graphic style of “Return to Monkey Island” became apparent soon after the presentation. Gilbert addressed the discussions in his personal blog back in April: It annoys him, Gilbert wrote, that the loudest critics are the most die-hard fans. “That makes me sad about all the comments.”
Pixel art “didn’t feel right”
“When we first brainstormed about ‘Return to Monkey Island,’ we also talked about pixel art,” Gilbert continued in his blog post. “But it didn’t feel right. We didn’t want to make a retro game.” It was important to him to push the series forward because the previous offshoots had always done so. “‘Return to Monkey Island’ may not have the style you wanted or expected, but it’s the style I wanted,” Gilbert explained.
Return to Monkey Island is slated for release in 2022. The development team includes Gilbert and Grossman as well as composer Michael Land. Publisher Devolver Digital and LucasFilm Games are also involved in the development of “Return to Monkey Island”.