One year ago next month came the news that Telltale Games, the developer and publisher of titles such as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Back to the Future, Tales from the Borderlands, Game of Thrones, Minecraft: Story Mode, Batman: The Telltale Series, and Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series was being shut down. The news was a devastating blow to everyone who’s a fan of the type of episodic adventure games they made.
Now comes word that Telltale is coming back from the dead. A company called LCG Entertainment has acquired Telltale and will be setting up shop in Malibu, 400 miles from the previous location.
Running the new Telltale will be Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle. Ottilie chatted with Polygon about the news and shared what the early plans are now that the gamemaker has new life:
“We’re going to stay small over the next six months and we will work for more of a distributed development pipeline than Telltale was known for. We’ll focus on tools, technology and design in-house. Some things like animation and motion capture will be done with the right partnerships externally.
We will probably keep the concept of episodes but with different pacing. This is a different world, from a media consumption standpoint. We need to look at how people like to entertain themselves. I like the idea of binge watching.”
So it sounds like instead of an episode being released every few months or so, we’ll likely be seeing full seasons released all at once like Netflix does with their TV series. Perhaps, if all goes well, they’ll even eventually launch their own service like Xbox’s Game Pass which will give fans the option of paying a monthly fee to have unlimited access to their library of games.
Whatever the plan is, he is confident that there is still a market for the kind of games Telltale is known for:
“This is a viable business that went away due to market conditions and some scale choices [Telltale’s previous management] made. I like games that tell stories and I think our industry should have a company that specializes in narrative-driven games.”
According to the report they’ll start by selling some of Telltale’s older titles. Then they’ll get to work on some new titles including games based on properties that have been associated with Telltale in the past, and some games based on new licenses.
Ottilie confirmed that part of the deal included back-catalog rights to titles like The Wolf Among Us and Batman, and that they plan to continue some of the established stories:
“We’re still evaluating, but we definitely want to continue some of the stories.”
One can only hope that this means there’s a chance that we’ll finally see a second season of The Wolf Among Us, which fans wanted for years before Telltale finally announced it only to see it all come crashing down when the closure happened last year.
One story you’re not likely to see continue is Telltale’s best-known title: The Walking Dead. The series was in the midst of its final season when the news came that Telltale was closing, leaving many (especially those who had pre-purchased the final season) to wonder what would happen.
Ultimately Skybound Entertainment, the company founded by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, swooped in and saved the final season. Skybound now owns that license and is said to have their own plans for future games.
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