Telltale Games returns, but without any of the studio’s old employees
The games industry lost one of its most interesting developers last year, but now it looks like the developer behind point-and-click adaptations like The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead and Batman is coming back – thanks to two investors who had nothing to do with the old studio or any of its games. Hmm.
Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle have acquired the Telltale name along with its back-catalogue and intellectual properties. The new company will sell Telltale’s old games, and has plans to announce new projects later this year – although the new projects will certainly not have anything to do with The Walking Dead, since owner Skybound has its own plans for it.
Same name, all-new team
While this is good news, it’s worth noting that the original Telltale team is spread far and wide by now and that it’s unlikely many of them will come back. The new company wants to hire former Telltale developers on a freelance basis, and hopefully hire for full-time positions in the future.
Ottilie comes from mobile games, while Waddle worked sales and marketing for the Havok physics engine. Publisher Athlon Games and former Rebellion and Starbreeze executives have invested in the new Telltale.
While it would be nice to see Telltale bounce back with slightly more responsible management, there’s a long way to go before the new studio can live up to its namesake’s reputation.
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
What was Telltale Games first release?
- Bone: Out From Boneville
- Sam & Max: Save The World
- Telltale Texas Hold ‘Em
- Poker Night at the Inventory
The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!
Big Super Mario 64 mystery solved
Remember the fountain in Super Mario 64 with the unreadable plaque, that many people believed read “L is real 2401” and interpreted as confirmation that (the notably absent) Luigi was supposed to be in the game? It even appeared in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but thanks to the texture low resolution no one could read what the plaque said.
Now Daniel Nodd, also known as No64DD, has cleared up the mystery once and for all: After close examination using a bunch of image enhancement filters, he has determined that the plaque reads “A secret star lie here ~”. The tilde is usually used on tombstone inscriptions. Apparently it’s a joke, but no one got it until today. We’re still not sure…
Telltale’s still got unfinished business
As reported earlier in this issue, Telltale is making a comeback. The new management says they want to continue some of the stories Telltale didn’t finish during its lifetime – but that probably doesn’t include the studio’s first licensed series, Bone. Bone was the studio’s only big failure, and the series was cancelled after just two episodes.
Jeff Smith’s classic comic spans nine volumes, and between 2005 and 2006 adapted two of them: Out From Boneville and The Great Cow Race. Both were pretty enjoyable, but they were direct adaptations, which meant fans of the comic already knew the story.
Telltale – home to a number of ex-LucasArts developers – managed to license Sam & Max, and focused on that instead for the next few years. Although they claimed they wanted to return to Bone later, they never did.
Fortunately, Telltale managed to complete The Walking Dead: The Final Season after going out of business, thanks to a helping hand from Skybound Entertainment. Maybe the new management will finish Bone?