Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

This Is Why There Was Never A Sequel To Grim Fandango

One of the most beloved point and click adventure games of all time, in Grim Fandango players explored an imaginative, stylish and hilarious afterlife as psychopomp slash travel agent Manny. While it – like many games in the genre – suffered from fiendish, nigh on illogical puzzles, it made up for this with its creative world and storytelling, inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead, Noir film and Aztec mythology.


Grim Fandango, which was released by LucasArts in 1998, was the brainchild of Tim Schafer, known then for his work on other LucasArts titles such as Day of the Tentacle.

Grim Fandango was a great game that nobody bought, and it became something of a cult classic. Released before the days of digital distribution, copies were in short supply and it was practically impossible to get hold of the game before 2015, when it was remastered by Schafer's new studio, Double Fine Productions. But while this remaster made Grim Fandango shiny and new, as well as accessible to new generations of gamers, many would like to see this property raised from the dead and dusted off for a sequel.

So why hasn't it happened yet? And is there any hope for a new game, more than two decades on from Grim Fandango's original launch?


The twilight years of the adventure game

One of the main reasons Grim Fandango never received a sequel is quite simple: it's a point-and-click adventure game, part of a niche genre that fell out of fashion long ago.

In the 90s, 3D games were a new and exciting possibility. Grim Fandango was LucasArts first attempt (out of two in total) to make an adventure game in 3D, and it controlled so poorly that one fan modded in a traditional point-and-click system.


As Fandom's James McMahon has commented, Grim Fandango came towards the end of the adventure game's golden age and can be considered a "last hurrah" of sorts for the genre. Although it is still celebrated, Grim Fandango was not a commercial success. Designer Dave Grossman told SFWeekly, "it was pretty ambitious and expensive, and I don't think it made very much money back."

In other words, putting time and money into a Grim Fandango 2 is probably a risky move.

Tim Schafer probably doesn't want to make one

That said, it's not like it's impossible to get a classic-style adventure game off the ground anymore. Though it ultimately wasn't able to stay afloat, Telltale revived the genre somewhat through games such as The Walking Dead. Meanwhile, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter have shown that there's plenty of demand for adventure game titles.


Tim Schafer himself has made use of this demand, raising over $3.5 million through Kickstarter for Double Fine's adventure game Broken Age, released in 2014.

Over the years, Schafer has been rather cagey on the idea of making a Grim Fandango sequel, intimating that he'd only do it if it could be as good as the first. And in an interview with Kotaku, while he did share a pipe dream of an open-world game in the Grim Fandango universe, Schafer also pointed out that the first game's story wrapped up neatly, and it was hard to imagine a satisfying story about a new character.