After its notorious and sudden shut down last year, Telltale Games will be returning, but in a much different form than before. Its assets have been purchased by LCG Entertainment. The new company will sell off some Telltale properties, continue work on a few series, and bring in new licenses. However, this Telltale Games will be quite different than the old studio, with questionable leadership, likely changes to the episodic model, and no guarantees that much of the old talent will be at the company long term, if at all.
The new Telltale Games will be led by Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle, two industry veterans with no prior association with Telltale. Athlon Games is also involved in the deal and will manage distribution. Ottilie has a long history in mobile games, where he has worked as the CEO of Galaxy Pest Control, a studio mostly known for its Duck Dynasty and Power Rangers projects. Waddle, meanwhile, has run marketing for the Havok game engine. The revived company may bring in new workers as well, though some members of the original Telltale will be offered freelance positions with full-time possibility.
In an interview with Polygon, Ottilie stated that the new Telltale has secured back-catalog rights to The Wolf Among Us and Batman, and that expired licenses will be given a second look. He also stated that some abandoned stories may be continued, though The Walking Dead license has already been transferred to Skybound.
Interestingly, Ottilie also expressed some interest in moving away from the long wait between game episodes, stating:
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, Telltale Games is “back,” but there is a lot to be wary of. I hope that Ottilie can bring back some of the old guard and hit the ground running with the high-quality storytelling that the studio was known for. However, both his past catalog and the uncertainty behind who will make up the staff do not inspire confidence.