Monkey Island creator says he's done sharing the new game after 'personal attack comments'

Return to Monkey Island
(Image credit: Terrible Toybox)

The legendary LucasArts adventure series Monkey Island returns later this year with the appropriately-named Return to Monkey Island. The announcement was a huge and welcome surprise, with the game being developed by Gilbert's Terrible Toybox studio in collaboration with Devolver Digital and Lucasfilm Games.

Since the game was announced, Gilbert's had a spiky moment or two, and got especially annoyed about criticisms of the game's new art style: "It's ironic that the people who don't want me to make the game I want to make are some of the hard core Monkey Island fans. And that is what makes me sad about all the comments.

"Return to Monkey Island is an incredible rollercoaster. Get on and have some fun or stomp out of the amusement park because it's not exactly the rollercoaster you wanted. I hope you'll jump on with the rest of us."

A couple of days ago the game got a new trailer, following which the usual mix of positive and negative comments about the game appeared.

Gilbert often engages with fans, which on some occasions can be unwise, and waded-in to the comments on his site with this trailer. His critics were saying some extremely nasty stuff, which resulted in Gilbert giving them some attitude back, which in an ouroboros of online crap resulted in even more abuse.

Eventually Gilbert had enough, writing:

"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."

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Gilbert subsequently deleted his Grumpy Gamer blog, on which he has been grumping away since 2004.

It's worth saying that this isn't Gilbert's first online rodeo, nor the first time he's got a little too upset about online comments. His handle of Grumpy Gamer is well-chosen, and he's said stuff in the past a little too hastily and later retracted, Let's put it this way: I'd be surprised if Return to Monkey Island arrives without Gilbert talking about it.

Return to Monkey Island was in development for two years before its announcement, and was an extremely well-kept secret. Gilbert's frustration is understandable: it must be maddening to be the creator of Monkey Island, bringing it back one more time after decades of poor games, and having to deal with the internet brickbats. At the same time, as everyone knows, you should never read the comments.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."