Ron declares he is working on a new Monkey Island

I’ve seen a lot of polls, and people seem to mostly like the art.
The polls I’ve seen are from Twitter and a couple of FB groups.
Is is it a solid proof that the people who don’t like the art are a vocal minority? No.
But I don’t think we can conclude either that fans are split.
I’ve seen a lot of angry comments coming from the same ten people.
So I don’t think most people hate the art style.
Personally, I think that a lot of people, me included, are really into it, some people don’t like it at all but are waiting to see more and a couple people are being agressive and hateful, they’re basically just trolls who don’t know how to handle their emotions – and they’re coming from both sides.
So basically… I don’t know.
I think it’s difficult to judge this kind of things on the Internet.


While I do think there is a lot of truth in your last post St_Eddie, I do think you’re overestimating how many of the remaining adventure game players are posting their opinions online.

I backed Thimbleweed Park based on a trailer. I post on this forum frequently. I’ve not even posted my opinion on the look of the game.

A lot of people aren’t posting about it at all and rarely post about anything.


I’m certainly willing to concede that it’s possible that there’s a pretty much evenly split 50/50 opinion about the art style (it’s not what I’ve witnessed but I will concede that it is possible). My sole point here has been that the reservations towards the art style absolutely have not been from a “vocal minority” and if the online reaction has indeed been pretty evenly split, then that doesn’t make the critical folk a minority. Quite frankly, it’s irksome and mildly offensive to see people attempt to discredit and dismiss valid opinions and criticism by boxing people into a descriptor that’s not even statistically true.

I think it looks great.


Now, having said all of that; I am beyond hyped for this game and just because I’m not 100% sold on the art style, that doesn’t mean that I’m not championing this game and that I am not more excited to play this game than I perhaps have been for any other game from my 39 years upon this Earth.

I think some people lose sight of the fact that just because a person is critical of a certain aspect of a game, it doesn’t mean that they’re not a passionate fan or that they are rallying against the game and wanting it to fail.


Several years back (Jul '18) there was a big leak of Steam sales figures - TWP # players on steam revealed

Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge: 288,297
Grim Fandango Remastered: 516,584
Day of the Tentacle Remastered: 265,169
Thimbleweed Park: 98,491

I’ve seen a few hundred comments on Ron’s blog, and a few more on facebook, etc…

That means there’s over 200,000 people or more who are either casual fans, or just general gamers who we don’t know the opinions of.


You see, for me, that really just backs up what I said, rather than disproves it. I see your point about how not everyone has commentated upon the game at this point but hopefully others can see my point about how immensely niche the adventure game genre is within gaming and how the comments made about the art style thus far are a fairly decent indicator for what the larger opinion would be.

And I never meant to discredit your opinion. I perfectly understand you, and other people, not liking the art style.
I just meant that, besides the polls I talked about, we don’t have much statistics. So it’s difficult to know exactly what most people think.
Based on the polls I’ve seen, it seems like the majority like the art. But the polls are coming from specific groups, so it might not be representative of what everybody thinks.


It’s not a decent indicator, because we only know the opinions of one segment of the market - very passionate MI fans around the age of 40. We know a bunch of them don’t like the art style. This is several hundred people based on comments.

We don’t know who makes up the other 200,000+ players, a lot will be casual fans, kids, etc.

Another line of reasoning:

This is going to be a hardcore game. (To use Ron’s words: “It would be an adventure game for the hardcore. You’re going to get stuck. You’re going to be frustrated. Some puzzles will be hard”. It’s unlikely Ron changed his mind on that part.)

If it’s a game for hardcore players, does it make sense to try to give it an art style that’s more mainstream? This seems like a big risk to me. You risk losing your old audience and failing to gain a new audience…

(those who like the art won’t like the gameplay, and viceversa)

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Good question. I think if Ron Gilbert is hoping to attract a lot of causal and younger gamers with this game, then he’s likely to be disappointed. Having said that, I don’t think that Ron was attempting to appeal to a mainstream audience when he settled upon the chosen art style. I simply think that he loves that style of art. After all, this was the piece of art which turned Ron onto choosing Rex Crowle as the lead artist for the game in the first place…

Ron said that he loved that take on Guybrush. Personally, I think that it looks absolutely hideous but that’s the subjective nature of art for you, I guess.


I agree… that’s the most likely explanation for taking such a risk. Ron probably just really loves that style.

(Another piece of evidence is that it’s similar to Deathspank)


Adventure game players are already a small niche and I don’t think that Ron has an economical interest in shrinking the game audience even more, focusing only or mainly on hardcore players.

Actually, I think that some hints (starting with the art style) point to the opposite direction: widening the audience beyond the usual old-school niche.

Evolving things, evolving the franchise, embracing new audiences —all these things, those are the big questions that we needed to ask ourselves. [Emphasis is mine. Source]

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Yes, I noticed that too. Particularly in regards to the portrait in the courthouse screenshot…

That being the case, I think it’s a folly to design a new Monkey Island game around a wont to attract a larger audience. Adventure games are just too niche of a genre. I don’t think one can appeal to a more mainstream audience by evoking a certain art style or streamlining the gameplay mechanics.

Minecraft is a massively popular game with younger audiences, but it’s not like TellTale Games’ Minecraft: Story Mode appealed to the majority of those players, much less did gangbusters in terms of sales. Return to Monkey Island isn’t going to attract the same crowd who regularly play titles such as GTA V or Fortnite. I’m sorry, but it’s just not. I think the best thing to do is to embrace the niche nature of the genre and its fanbase.

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As chance would have it, aside from Thimbleweed Park I have only played three ‘new’ games for more than five minutes in the past 12 years.

  1. one of the Mario Kart games (at a friend’s)
  2. Limbo
  3. LittleBigPlanet, which RTMI’s art director worked on (because it was a free game option when the PS Network went down and even though I only used the PS3 as my blu ray player, I figured why not?)
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I think that one of the points that make people enraging -consciously or less- is the fact they take the art chosen for RMI as a declaration, a mission statement. And therefore a betrayal. “who’s the commercial target of this game? We, the hardcore ones? Or the digital native casual gamers?”

I would have preferred a different art style, but I think I’ll like the game immensely as well. But you’ll have to admit the question is legit.

I can only speak for myself as someone who’s not keen on the art style but I certainly don’t view it as a betrayal or a sell out in an attempt to attract a more casual audience. I just view it as a creative decision made in good faith, which I don’t personally care for. I still have absolute faith in Ron and co to deliver a fantastic game, with well crafted puzzles, a gripping narrative and a fantastic soundtrack.



Me too. That nose looks more like… well. I get flashbacks to the movie Nothing but Trouble

About the whole vocal minority discussion - the stress is on vocal, regardless of what they think will match with what the majority of players will think. (Spoiler: the majority doesn’t care about the art style most probably… unless more than 50% of the buyers are die hard fans). For any developer, it is a gamble and the only right thing to do is stay true to their own vision. Even if that means not pleasing the oldest (and hardest to please) players.
Yes, the C64 Maniac Mansion style mockup gives me warm fuzzy feelings. As would an EGA or VGA pixel style. But I would not not buy the game on day 1 because the art style isn’t what I daydream about. It’s just fun to ramble about it. I’m vocal here.
And I join the silent majority on Twitter, accepting whatever we get thrown our side.

After all, kids, remember: these icons are not final!


I fail to see the contradiction. My first quote was in regards to the general notion of attempting to appeal to a mainstream audience when designing an adventure game. Whereas my second quote was in specific regards to Return to Monkey Island and my belief as to why Ron chose the art style direction that he did.

Ah, but at least 50% of the people who buy Return to Monkey Island WILL be die hard fans of adventure games and Monkey Island (and that’s a very conservative estimate). I have no doubt of this.