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Gilbert created the first two games in the series (1990’s The Secret Of Monkey Island and 1991’s Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge) before leaving LucasArts. Three more games were made without his involvement but the recently announced Return To Monkey Island sees Gilbert returning to the franchise.
The upcoming title will pick up where LeChuck’s Revenge left off.
However, in a new blog post, Gilbert has hit back at so-called fans who have already criticised Return without playing it.
“It’s ironic that the people who don’t want me to make the game I want to make are some of the hard core fans. And that is what makes me sad about all the comments,” he wrote.
“When Dave (Grossman) and I first got together to talk about Return To Monkey Island, we had a nearly blank slate. We talked over ideas we’d had over the years including one of mine where Guybrush wakes up 3000 years in the future on a snowball Earth.”
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) April 6, 2022
In a post shared in 2013, Gilbert had explained what his plan would have been for the franchise going forward but “other Monkey Island games had already done much of that (by pure coincidence) and there was little point in rehashing it,” he said.
“I wanted the art in Return to be provocative, shocking, and not what everyone was expecting,” he continued, not wanting to use pixel art because it would box the new game in as a retro title.
“Return To Monkey Island is an incredible rollercoaster,” he continued. “Get on and have some fun or stomp out of the amusement park because it’s not exactly the rollercoaster you wanted,” he added before quoting that same 2013 post. “The game would be the game I wanted to make. I don’t want the pressure of trying to make the game you want me to make.”
No release date has been confirmed for Return but it’s due in 2022 and will feature an optional hint system to assist players.