Ron Gilbert, creator of the point-and-click Monkey Island series, will no longer be talking about or showing his upcoming game: Return to Monkey Island.
Since showing off the game via a trailer in Tuesday’s Nintendo Direct, Gilbert has gotten a host of abusive comments from fans about the game’s new art style. So, starting with Gilbert’s blog (Grumpy Gamer), he’s shutting down comments completely. But that’s not all. Gilbert also says he’s done posting about Return to Monkey Island at all. After defending the game and the team on his blog, he ended with: “The joy of sharing has been driven from me.”
The art style for Return to Monkey Island is a big departure from the series’ pixel-to-Disney visuals. Instead, the game is taking on a more abstract style, and has more in common with recent games like Guacamelee than the previous Monkey Island games.
Fans don’t seem to care much for the change, but in a previous blog post (captured by Eurogamer), but it’s taken on a new look because that’s what the creator wanted. “Return to Monkey Island may not be the art style you wanted or were expecting, but it’s the art style I wanted,” said Gilbert.
Bang up job, everybody.— Dominic Armato (@SkilletDoux) June 30, 2022
(I've seen a lot of passionate but polite/polite-adjacent discussion going on, but the comments on Ron's blog were a total shitshow.) pic.twitter.com/BUBoPdU1fS
While Gilbert is now done talking about Return to Monkey Island, the voice actor for series protagonist Guybrush Threepwood — Dominic Armato — took to Twitter to both defend Gilbert and the game itself.
Since Tuesday, Armato has been sharing his thoughts with fans about the game — specifically the graphic style change that players are reacting poorly to. Armato (who says he did a playthrough of the game this spring) gushed about the art and shared his general surprise at the venom some fans were spitting Gilbert and the team’s way — Gilbert himself retweeted the thread in support.
Armato ended his discussion about Return to Monkey Island on Twitter with a simple but powerful statement in defense of the development team: “Whatever you want Monkey Island to be, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that making this a chore rather than a joy for the devs is the quickest way to ensure it won’t be anything for anybody.”
As of this writing, Gilbert’s blog is down, and it’s unclear how long it will stay that way. However, it certainly seems that fans have heard the last of Return to Monkey Island until its release later this year.