About a year ago at E3 2019, Microsoft announced that it was acquiring Double Fine Productions, makers of Psychonauts, Broken Age, Costume Quest, and more. Far from the only notable studio purchase Microsoft's made in recent years, Double Fine is a bit special, as they've also run Double Fine Presents, an indie publishing arm, since 2014. Today sees the first game leaving the publisher's catalogue.
Gang Beasts, the clumsy multiplayer brawler developed by Boneloaf, is now parting ways with Double Fine in favor of self-publishing from here on out. "They've given us advice, they've given us splendiferous support, and most importantly, they've become friends and mentors to us," reads an announcement from Boneloaf regarding the split with Double Fine. "[W]e think it is a good time for Boneloaf to stand on its own... legs and publish Gang Beasts ourselves."
This is the first indie developer to part ways with Double Fine Presents following the Microsoft acquisition. Shortly after the news of the purchase, Double Fine announced it would fulfill pending publishing arrangements for titles including 2019's Knights and Bikes and the still forthcoming Samurai Gunn 2.
"We're still following through on those games," Double Fine founder Tim Schafer told USgamer last September. "But in the future, that mission of helping out indie devs and helping to bring our favorite indie games more attention can still be done. We're not doing it for money, though. We're doing it to help out with the indie community." Schafer says the plan is to still host Double Fine's Day of the Devs indie showcase, saying "there's no reason why [it] can't" as a member of Xbox Game Studios.
Today, Double Fine also bid a fond farewell to Boneloaf via Twitter, saying it was a "joy working with" the team. Along with taking on publishing responsibilities, Boneloaf will carry on with updates for Gang Beasts, including a 1.13 update planned for beta testing next month and a selection of new stages and costumes.
Double Fine is still working on Psychonauts 2, which is targeting a 2020 release after a delay following the studio's acquisition. Now set to be published by Xbox Game Studios, the plan is to still release it for all the platforms—Xbox One, PC, Mac, Linux, and even PlayStation 4—that Double Fine originally started working on it for following the success of its Fig crowdfunding campaign in 2016.