Thimbleweed park (not) reaching MI fans

Hi @RonGilbert,
As you mentionned earlier in a tweet and on this forum, TWP sales are not as high as they could have been in the market share of MI fans. Overall sale numbers are not low, it was just the percentage of MI fans you were reaching that was low - around 10%. (End of paraphrasing). How can you tell this? How do you collect the MI fan status for all copies being sold? Is it by gathering statistics on players discovering certain MI easter eggs in the game? Or is it something more mundane like Steam/Gog providing information on game libraries containing either game (which doesn’t include original MI owners and more piratey fans)?

(Edit:) here is a link to the tweet

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I think that he wasn’t talking about the percentage of TWP players who are/aren’t MI fans, but about the percentage of MI players who didn’t buy TWP.

There are people who really liked the old games back in the day, who have since moved on from playing video games entirely.

I had a phase of at least 7 or 8 years where I did not play any games at all and mainly listened to music, watched movies, read books etc. and have only slowly started again playing old and newer games in the last 10 years or so.

There are people who just moved on and never looked back.

Monkey Island fans who loved the game so much to even write fanmail. They are in their 40s now, they are not on social media or use it for non game related stuff and when you were to tell them about the new game by the creator of Monkey Island they would go: “Oh that´s neat, I remember those old games from when I was a kid” and then they would move on with their lives.

I once wanted to take someone to a concert of an artist he really liked and he just refused saying:“Nah, I´m content with listening to the old records at home”.

These people do exist and their number may be bigger than you are even able to measure.


That’s indeed what I meant. So how do you determine or estimate that number?

Very true. I think a share out of all people who’d name themselves fans of MI either:
A. Moved on/don’t play games any longer/died…
B. Never paid for MI and have no intention to pay for TWP either

Regardless of these reasons of why certain MI fans that would buy and play TWP if only they knew about it were not reached, I am interested to learn how you can measure the amount in either demographic group that made Ron tweet that comment in the first place?

In other words, how do you link the number of MI copied sold since 1990 to the number of TWP copied sold to the same group of people, i.e. excluding those that may even never heard of MI?

I think you have a good point here.
Among my acquaintances and peers, only a few have purchased Thimbleweed Park, although when we were teens, all of us have played Monkey Island.
They have their families now, they are living their lives, they moved on.
What they have lost, it’s the child’s spirit. That firing sparkle that keeps you alive, with the wish of trying new thing, and to be in step with the times.
Who has maintained that living sparkle, is playing Thimbleweed Park, is not afraid to learn how to use a smartphone, the social media, or to go to a live concert like many he/she used to do years ago.

My mother (< 70) is using whatsapp and had helped me in betatesting Thimbleweed Park.
She is never too old, and still has that child’s spirit I was mentioning before.


I think we need to explain the difference between “DOTT fans who bought DOTT remastered” and “monkey island fans who bought TWP”. (if there is any difference).

(or better, compare the ratios DOTT-fans-who-bought-remastered/DOTT-fans with MI-fans-who-bought-twp/MI-fans)

I think we could do that if it can be proven that the Monkey Island Special Editions sold better than TwP(I don´t have the numbers on that).

In that case the explaination would be that it is the same game. Now if it still didn´t sell that well you have to factor in the drastically changed graphics. DoTT just had smoothed edges but looked familar enough, MISE and MI2SE were altered beyond recognition, yes there was that toggle classic graphics button, but people who have seen the new graphics have already lost interested before you can tell them that.

When it comes to nostalgia people have a tendency to gravitate toward the exact thing rather than a new thing that reminds them of that thing. That´s why many rather play the old thing the umpteenth time that gives them the exact feels rather than something new, remember that people are not as much open for something new from a certain age on, drawing them in with nostalgia can help but doesn´t always work.

I don’t think that’s the reason. A lot MI fans bought the Non-Gilbert-MIs.

Exactly: A friend of mine grew up with DOTT and Grim. He bought the Remastered version just to be able to play them again. But he would never play TWP - just because he won’t buy computer games anymore. His interest has (completely) changed.

The remastered versions were bought by people to bring some of their memories back. TWP is a new game that doesn’t bring a particular moment in their life back.

I did not, I didn´t like the direction this was going in, and I didn´t even know it wasn´t by Gilbert back then.

But maybe that was soon enough (6 years between 2 and 3) when people were still open for the change and nostalgia wasn´t strong enough, yet.

A lot of people were turned off by the new graphics of the Special Editions, more so than they had problems with the new style of 3 and 4 (though I know many, myself included ,who strongly dislike the 3D style of 4 as well as the controls).

I think we could do that if it can be proven that the Monkey Island Special Editions sold better than TwP (I don´t have the numbers on that).

I think you could get some rough ratio from SteamSpy (though Ron says the numbers are not quite accurate):
MI SE - 600 000 owners
TP - 82 000 owners

By the way, Tim Schafer mentioned that remastered versions of Grim (750 000 owners) and DOTT (460 000 owners) actually sold more than the originals back then. I suppose it’s the same with Monkey Island I & II.

Guess that´s a good way to absolve yourself when you pirated it back in the day.

I guess so. =)

Tim did not think of it that way:
“I feel like that’s got to be all the old players and more.”

I recently chatted with a friend about games he uses to play and I recommended TWP, but he didn’t really think about it. He continued our talk by mentioning the ability of using ScummVM on the phone. After that I told that it would be more interesting to me to support more recent point & click adventure games, such as TWP. I said that TWP was available for smartphoes as well. Though, I doubt that he has retained TWP in memory up to now. He is very busy and uses his memory rather for business matters, so to speak.
But, I’m going to continue working on it. Maybe he will appreciate TWP one day.

You never know the respective revenue. Unlike TWP, the SEs/Remasters have already been sold unbelievably cheap during some sales on Steam.

I for example bought the later Monkey Island games just because they said Monkey Island on them, not knowing what and how they were.
Also I didn’t know what a “Gilbert” was back then.

That’s true. Though we are talking about number of sales here, which we also don’t really know (e.g. people may not care about the game when it was in a bundle with other ones).
But there is clearly a difference between hundred thousands of sales vs. below hundred thousand.

Bet you sure as hell knew what a “Treblig” was, though!

Just another guess on increased sales, maybe the generation that grew up in the 90s can actually afford to spend money on games now.

But the question is why those people don’t know or care about TWP.

As I´ve said before, because nostalgia works in weird ways.