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Why This Monkey Island Developer Has Lost His Joy Of Sharing

Set to release sometime in 2022, "Return to Monkey Island" will be the first new entry in the "Monkey Island" franchise since 2009. The game has been in the works for over two years, though its creators have had ideas about the possibility since 2013, if not earlier.

Just as long-standing as the "Monkey Island" series itself is Ron Gilbert's involvement as writer, director, and developer. In addition to Gilbert returning to work on "Return to Monkey Island," numerous other creators from the franchise are coming back as well.

Given the game that kicked it all off launched way back in 1990, it's no surprise the "Monkey Island" titles have maintained a retro feel. This time around, the creators of "Return to Monkey Island" are hoping to modernize the art style beyond its pixelated roots, while maintaining beloved elements like the adventure and puzzle gameplay. As it turns out, many fans have shared their dissent surrounding this decision, so much so that Gilbert has in turn shared his sadness around the backlash. He's especially hurt that a lot of the negativity towards "Return to Monkey Island" is from the series' biggest fans.

Since Gilbert shared his comments back in May, the backlash has only grown, so much so that he recently opened up about losing the happiness he used to feel in sharing with fans.

Monkey Island dev done with dissent

In a since-deleted statement originally shared on his personal blog, "Monkey Island" developer Ron Gilbert expressed his frustrations with hurtful comments. Though Gilbert has since taken down the message, it was captured on Twitter on June 29 by Dominic Armato, the voice of "Monkey Island" protagonist Guybrush Threepwood. In Gilbert's words, "I'm shutting down comments. People are just being mean and I'm having to delete personal attack comments. It's an amazing game and everyone on the team is very proud of it. Play it or don't play it but don't ruin it for everyone else. I won't be posting anymore about the game. The joy of sharing has been driven from me."

Gilbert's sentiment pulled no punches, though it's unclear why he chose to delete it. Given he's been updating his blog regularly for years, it's a huge change that he has stated he won't be sharing game updates anymore. Then again, the fact that he deleted the statement could suggest he is open to changing his mind.

In the meantime, fans of "Return to Monkey Island" will have to continue waiting patiently for a firm release date announcement beyond the 2022 window. It will be interesting to see how Gilbert chooses to interact with fans further and how this will affect his involvement in marketing his work.