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Double Fine acquires Costume Quest and Stacking rights, retail releases coming

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Double Fine Productions now owns the publishing and distribution rights to the downloadable games Costume Quest and Stacking, and the studio is teaming up with the previous rights holder, Nordic Games, for retail versions in 2014, the companies announced today.

Costume Quest (2010) and Stacking (2011) were originally published by THQ, and the company held the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade rights when it filed for bankruptcy in December 2012. (Double Fine retained ownership of the intellectual property for both titles.) Double Fine was "optimistic" about getting the rights back and attempted to do so, but Nordic Games took control of them as part of a $4.9 million acquisition during THQ's second bankruptcy auction this past April.

"I am pleased that we have regained full control over Costume Quest and Stacking, following a daring and top-secret midnight raid on the Nordic Games headquarters in Vienna," said Tim Schafer, Double Fine president and CEO, in a press release today. Schafer told Polygon this past May that he wanted to reacquire the games' distribution rights because he had an "emotional attachment" to them, and because the studio has a mission to "own everything that we make."

"We support the right of independent developers to control their own distribution, and we were pleased to have the opportunity to work with Double Fine," said Klemens Kreuzer, managing director at Nordic Games.

Double Fine and Nordic Games are also working together to bring Costume Quest and Stacking, as well as the cult classic Psychonauts, to retail on Windows PC and Mac in North America and Europe. All three games are scheduled to be released during the first half of 2014. Psychonauts was originally released in 2005 on PlayStation 2, Windows PC and Xbox.

"We can't wait to partner with Double Fine for this upcoming retail launch of three of its most excellent games," said Lars Wingefors, owner and CEO of Nordic Games. "However, I feel compelled to point out that we were happy to transfer distribution rights for Costume Quest and Stacking back to Double Fine in an entirely non-secretive and heist-free manner." Terms of the deal between the two companies were not disclosed.