A new studio has purchased the rights to the Telltale Games brand, along with some of its back catalog of games, but it is not driven by former developers of the original studio. Speaking to Polygon, co-founder Jamie Ottilie explained that the new Telltale Games has rights to previous titles like The Wolf Among Us and Batman, but the studio will be considerably smaller than before.
Former Telltale employees may be working for the revived company but they will not be starting with salaried positions. Instead, former developers are being offered freelance work with potential for full-time roles in the future. Ottilie said game design and development tools will be developed internally, with external partnerships handling other aspects of games, such as animation.
Additional changes may come to the episodic nature of Telltale’s games, which have been a signature of the company for years. Ottilie expressed that he liked “the idea of binge-watching,” alluding to a release model similar in style to how Netflix handles its original series.
When Telltale Games shut down in 2018, many games in development were canceled, with a few finding new homes. One of these games is The Walking Dead, which was acquired by Skybound Entertainment after the original studio shuttered. Skybound was founded by the The Walking Dead comic’s creator Robert Kirkman, and it brought back on several former Telltale employees to complete the game’s final season. Only about 15 developers were kept around afterward, but Skybound is considering creating additional stories in the universe at some point down the line.
Another series that didn’t see completion following the closure was the Stranger Things adaptation. This will not continue under the new Telltale either, as Netflix now owns the rights.
At this time, Telltale’s back catalog rights to The Wolf Among Us and Batman mean we could see re-releases of those series, and Telltale can also develop new games in certain non-licensed series like Puzzle Agent. With other licensed properties still up in the air, it’s likely Telltale will primarily focus on creating internal tools before it tackles additional projects. Telltale Games is technically back, but it will be years — if ever — that we see it at the same scale it was before.
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