Telltale Games and Lionsgate are aiming to reinvent TV with a new approach that’s been dubbed the “Super Show” by Telltale CEO and co-founder Kevin Bruner. A crossbreed of scripted television and interactive stories in the style that Telltale’s developed a reputation for, the Super Show represents the game studio’s first, previously teased venture into the realm of wholly original content, with no ties to other, existing brands or franchises.
“A ‘Super Show’ episode combines one part of interactive playable content with one part of scripted television style content. Both pieces, when combined together, are what make an actual Super Show ‘episode,'” Bruner said, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “As we’ve been developing the series, we’re using both mediums in concert to deliver our story. Developing both aspects simultaneously is key to utilizing this new medium. Both parts are first class citizens during the writing and design process. It’s not an interactive series with a show, or a TV show with a game, but a story integrated in a way that only Telltale can do. For us it’s a very natural evolution of the interactive story telling expertise we’ve pioneered.”
Bruner goes into greater detail in the interview, but stops short of sharing any details relating to the content. The genre, the tone, the characters and the world, all of it remains a mystery. But the Super Show reveal comes on the heels of Telltale’s new partnership with Lionsgate, which has the experience to take point onf the TV side of the series. The partnership also brings Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer into Telltale’s board of directors.
We got some hints of Telltale’s greater aspirations quite recently, during a sitdown with Bruner at DICE. Referring to the gamers of today as “first-class media consumers,” he predicted imminent changes for the medium and the culture around it.
“It’s a beautiful time for gamers, because we really get to shape the future of pop culture,” Bruner told Digital Trends. “I love all the filmmakers and novelists in the world, but I think this new medium is where all the action is. Films and novels and television [aren’t] going away, but all the good stuff’s gonna be happening on your game console, on your tablet. That’s where the awesome stuff is going to be.”
On the subject of Telltale creating its own story and world for the first time, Bruner suggested that it’s been a very long time coming. Now, following the success of games like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, and the growth those successes spurred, the time is right. “We’ve always kind of invented new characters and new stories within the worlds that we work with. We’ve never really done, like, the game of the movie or the game of the book,” he said. “Over the years, we’ve been getting to this critical mass of knowing what would be the perfect fuel to really check every box that we wanted to check. It just felt like the time is right to green light it and move forward.”
Plenty of details remain to be revealed, but it sounds like Telltale is finally ready to start talking about what its next steps are going to look like.