Fans of Telltale Games can rejoice as, after their heartbreaking closure last year, assets belonging to the former episodic-adventure developer have recently been purchased by LCG Entertainment. Headed by James Ottilie, CEO of mobile games developer Galaxy Pest Control, this new company will seek to continue Telltale’s work on narrative-focused episodic games. Back-catalog rights to both The Wolf Among Us and Batman franchises have already been purchased, along with the full rights to all of Telltale’s original titles. Ottile also assured the company was looking into acquiring certain other expired licenses.
In an interview with Polygon, Ottile proclaimed; “[Telltale] brought me some of my favourite stories to play and they did an amazing job building a company. It’s unfortunate the way that it ended. Certainly we’re working hard not to make similar mistakes.” A number of employees from the original Telltale Games will reportedly be offered freelance roles, with the potential for permanent positions in the future.
While the revived company is set to continue the original’s work by restricting focus to ‘narrative-driven games’ and possibly even picking up a few stories where they left off, the development and distribution models will reportedly receive a few alterations: “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,” Ottile said. “We’ll focus on tools, technology and design in-house. Some things like animation and motion capture will be done with the rights partnerships externally.”
Of the original developer’s episodic-release model, he stated; “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.” This outlook is likely especially appealing to the somewhat more impatient gamers among us (myself included) who had issues with Telltale’s loose release schedules.
As stated, fans should be pleased to hear that two of Telltale’s big-selling franchises, Batman and The Wolf Among Us, have already been acquired, with still more being ‘looked at’. As a reminder, licenses the developer previously had rights to included Guardians of the Galaxy, Game of Thrones, Borderlands and Minecraft. Rights to the developer’s most popular franchise, The Walking Dead, however will remain exclusively under Skybound’s control who retain their own plans for future releases. The license to Stranger Things, a franchise Telltale had acquired permission to adapt before their spontaneous closure, has sadly been voided, with rights already having reverted back to Netflix.
The class-action lawsuit against the original company’s executives is still ongoing and will have no perceived bearing on the founding of this new company as these executives have no official roles in the company’s relaunch.
While this news does little to alleviate the tragedy experienced by the talented developers who suddenly lost their jobs back in September/October last year, it may perhaps at least provide hope to those of us who so appreciated their talents and were ourselves deeply disheartened by the idea that we could no longer immerse ourselves in their stories. Telltale’s legacy is one well worth preserving, so here’s hoping this new incarnation can step up to the mark.
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