Telltale Games, the development studio behind episodic adventure games such as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Batman, suddenly and unexpectedly closed its doors in late 2018.
Perhaps not quite as suddenly, but just as unexpectedly, we’ve just learned that Telltale Games is back from the dead after its assets were acquired by a company called LCG Entertainment. While this is effectively a new Telltale under new ownership, it’s expected that the studio will return to some of its previous franchises while also working with new licenses.
Polygon reports that this new Telltale is being run by Jamie Ottilie (founder and CEO of Galaxy Pest Control) and Brian Waddle, who previously oversaw sales and marketing for the Havok game engine.
Ottilie added that some of the workers from the old Telltale, many of whom were let go with no kind of severance package right before Christmas, will be offered freelance roles. Full time positions could possibly open up in the future.
Speaking to Gamedaily.biz, Ottilie explained how the purchase came about:
We dug in and, and took a look and nosed around. The more we looked at it, the more we kind of went, ‘Hey, this is a good business, this is a viable business and it seems like under the right conditions this could be stood back up and we can continue to enjoy Telltale Games and like game makers tell stories.
Ottilie added to Polygon that he “likes games that tell stories, and I think our industry should have a company that specializes in narrative-driven games.” It was also confirmed that the new Telltale “still evaluating” what stories to pick up and where to start fresh.
With that said, the new business does have back-catalog rights to licensed properties The Wolf Among Us and Batman, meaning we could finally get some of the sequels that we thought were long dead. Unfortunately, The Walking Dead is no longer with Telltale, as Skybound Games – who stepped in to finish the final season – now hold the rights to tell more stories in that particular universe.
Telltale’s rights were purchased from a company that had been assigned by creditors of the old company with the help of Publisher Athlon Games, who will handle distribution going forward. The revived company will be based in Malibu, California, and will “stay small” over the next six months or so.
“We will work for more of a distributed development pipeline than Telltale was known for,” Ottilie told Polygon. “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.”
Earlier this year, an in-depth report came to light that revealed one of the key factors in the demise of Telltale Games was down to the studio taking on too many projects that simply weren’t being managed well enough.
Hopefully with a more streamlined model, this new iteration of the studio can get back to doing what it does best.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.