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Return To Monkey Island Star Reacts To 'Obnoxious Abuse'

"Return to Monkey Island" is set to release later in 2022, and many fans of the beloved adventure series have been thrilled to see it revived after so many years. Ron Gilbert, the director of the first two games, is coming back to lead the project, which promises to finally clear up the controversy surrounding the mysterious ending to "Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge." With multiple members of the original "Monkey Island" dev team returning and Gilbert stating that he wants to bring the series back to its roots, it already looks like it could be a great experience for longtime fans and newcomers. This being video games and the age of social media, however, there has been negativity and conflict to go with all the good stuff, which has led to some very succinct responses from one of the series' stars.

While lots of fans were excited to be getting more "Monkey Island," some took issue with the new art style for the upcoming game. The story and mechanics may harken back to the originals but the art has been updating, losing a bit of the franchise's former retro style. This led to a good bit of backlash, and sadly, more than a few people decided to voice their displeasure in hurtful and offensive ways.

Gilbert himself has been hurt by all the negativity and says he's largely lost his joy of sharing his work because of it. This fan backlash — along with other  similar incidents — seems to have sparked a larger conversation among industry veterans about the damage being done by toxic fans to developers and gaming at large. Now, the man who voices longtime "Monkey Island" protagonist Guybrush Threepwood is joining the conversation.

Dominic Armato defends Monkey Island

Speaking to YouTuber Cressup, voice actor Dominic Armato discussed his work on the new game and the hostile fan reactions to its art style. While Armato is glad to be bringing back one of his most iconic characters and thinks the game is looking great, he said he was surprised by the backlash from some fans. He was clear that he's not upset that some don't like the art style, though, emphasizing that art is a matter of taste and that not everyone has to agree. Still, he lamented that some seemingly wouldn't "give it a little bit of a chance" before immediately criticizing. He also added that, while differing tastes are perfectly valid, "the obnoxious abuse is never okay under any circumstances." 

He also took the opportunity to use this conflict to speak more broadly about his views of the industry and how fans interact with it these days. He voiced concern and frustration that, at a time when gamers and developers are still trying to show that games are an art form deserving of respect, too many are treating them like a mere product to be consumed. Rather than appreciating the variety available in the market, he said, some are simply demanding that games be made to their specifications. This is clearly an important issue for Armato, as he's previously made similar statements on Twitter.

On the bright side, despite his disappointment with some toxic fans, Armato still expressed excitement towards the upcoming game and is glad to be a part of it.