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Return To Monkey Island Creator Breaks His Silence On Backlash

In case you missed it, a brand new entry in the "Monkey Island" franchise was recently announced. If that weren't already exciting enough, it's currently scheduled to arrive sometime this year! Yes, all you '90s point-and-click fans, your dreams really are coming true. The upcoming entry is titled "Return to Monkey Island," and following the reveal there was no shortage of gamers expressing their excitement online. There are plenty of questions and ideas at the moment about what the title's story will focus on, but other than clearing up a controversy from thirty years ago, little has come to light.

The news got even better for longtime fans of the series due to the fact that key members of the creative team behind the originals have returned for this latest Caribbean tale. Michael Land, Peter McConnell, and Clint Bajakian are all composing the game's music, and Dave Grossman has joined creator Ron Gilbert in writing the adventure. While the announcement has enjoyed mostly smooth sailing, there have been some vocal fans displeased with the update. Unfortunately, that negative feedback seems to have bummed Gilbert out.

Return to Monkey Island: A fresh take or dishonoring a legacy?

With the first two games released in the early '90s, their visuals were limited by available technology. They don't look bad but, like many titles from that time period, the imagery in each is composed of large, blocky pixels — pixels that some fans are incredibly attached to. As evidenced by discussions online, the non-pixelated art style of "Return to Monkey Island" has caused some to claim that it doesn't do the series justice.

This displeased feedback prompted Ron Gilbert to respond via blog post. "When Dave and I first started brainstorming Return to Monkey Island we talked about pixel art, but it didn't feel right. We didn't want to make a retro game," said Gilbert. "I wanted to keep moving Monkey Island forward because it's interesting, fun, and exciting. It's what the Monkey Island games have always done." Gilbert and his team have a direction in mind for their project. Still, that doesn't negate the negative feelings of vocal community members.

"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 Monkey Island fans. And that is what makes me sad about all the comments," Gilbert continued. The majority of responses to the game's announcement have been positive. There's no shortage of people praising the bite-sized peeks they've had at the title so far. It may not be pixelated, but it will definitely be "Return to Monkey Island."