Double Fine has made more money from Psychonauts in the last two years as a self-pulished title than it did for the entire period prior, Tim Schafer has revealed.
"Psychonauts has been out so long and developed such a cult following that every time there's a Steam sale it's generating a bunch of money for us," Double Fine founder Tim Schafer told Kotaku.
"The scale of those sales makes the most sense for a company of our size. It might not be a blip on the radar for a company like Microsoft or EA or a huge company like that, but, for us, it allows us to make a thriving business off of creative ideas and inspiration-driven development."
He added: "We made more money off of Psychonauts in the last two years than we ever did before - mostly because we didn't have the publishing rights."
This is a far cry from how things used to be for Double Fine, says Schafer.
"The old model is you pitch a game, you try to get as much money for it as you can for development," he explained. "You set aside some money in that budget for the time in between.
"You either go late or it takes longer than that to sign your next game. And so you use up all that money. And then you're back to zero."
Getting the next deal was the difference between closure and survival.
"You have to take the next publishing deal that you can get," he explained. "And they're like, 'Well, it's got really terrible terms,' and we're like, 'We'll take it, we'll take it,' just to stay in business. We don't want to miss payroll. So we take it - and that one is the bad deal, which has terrible recoup terms - and [they] take our [intellectual property] or something. But, at the end of it, we're back to zero again."
Schafer says that whilst Kickstarter has changed the way games are made, the biggest change for the studio "was going into self-publishing".
"Now that we have the publishing rights for those games back, they make us a lot of money that we used to invest back into Broken Age."