#65: Telltale’s Rebirth

TODAY: Mysterious Super Mario 64 plaque isn’t about Luigi after all — Killer clowns are invading Fortnite! Won’t someone think of the children? — Australian police shut down Counter-Strike match fixers

Top Story

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!

News Bits

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…

Daily Fact

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?

Probably not.

Daily News

Fortnite x It: Chapter Two?

Hey heard about this game Fortnite that all the kids are playing? No, me neither! Anyway, Hollywood studios are falling over each other to tie their properties into Epic’s online shooter juggernaut. There have already been Marvel, John Wick and Stranger Things crossovers, and right now there’s a Borderlands 3 event. Some of those titles might seem a little, uh, dark and violent for a game most popular with kids.

Well, they’re nothing compared to what’s rumoured to come next: Various dataminers scouring through Fortnite updates with debuggers suggest the next big event is a tie-in with It: Chapter Two, starring the murderous clown Pennywise, who … kills and eats children. You know, the little tykes who play Fortnite. Yes.

We all float down here

Notorious leaker Unkn0wn posted a bunch of sound clips pulled from game files, featuring a variety of creepy laughter samples which really do sound a lot like Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise. Then FortTory posted a creepy balloon found in the game’s files on Twitter, which kinda settles the matter.

It: Chapter Two starts showing in cinemas next week, on September 6th, so the crossover event will probably be announced soon. Maybe we’ll even have a bit of a debate about whether it’s appropriate to advertise R-rated movies to an audience consisting predominantly of children who aren’t legally allowed to watch them.

New Resident Evil to be announced, could be another multiplayer game

The utterly horrifying Resident Evil 2 Remake is one of our picks for game of the year, and the excellent Resident Evil 7 was definitely a return to form for the series, so now we just want more Resident Evil. Judging by this teaser website, it looks like Capcom’s got us covered.

The working title is Project Resistance, with special emphasis on R and E, and a trailer will appear on September 9th. The game will be shown for the first time at Tokyo Game Show the following week.

Great, as long as it isn’t multiplayer!

A Reddit user put the YouTube link into a thumbnail grabber site, yielding some very tiny thumbnails from the video. The tiny screenshots seem to show multiple characters, none of which look much like any Resident Evil characters we know from before. One screenshot appears to show four armed player characters, which kinda suggests co-op multiplayer.

The Resident Evil series has had mixed success with multiplayer. Resident Evil 5 and 6 are rather decent, Operation Raccoon City did well in Japan but didn’t set the rest of the world on fire, and the recent Umbrella Corps were … just not very good. Actually, Project Resistance sounds more like a new Outbreak game.

In any case, co-op zombie shooters are a pretty crowded market these days. Let’s hope Capcom can sweep them all aside.

eSports Roundup

OG Dota secures back-to-back victory in The International

OG Dota have become the first team to achieve back-to-back wins in The International, securing a prize of over $15 million. The International finals took place in Shanghai, China, where OG Dota took on Team Liquid, comfortably securing a 3-1 victory in a best-of-5 set.

OG Dota will be taking home around 45% of the original $34 million prize pool, with Team Liquid earning around $4.4 million with their second place finish. While details on the Dota Pro Circuit have not yet been announced, we expect to see both teams competing towards the end of the year.

Team Liquid become 4x LCS Champions

Team Liquid have once again proven themselves, winning their fourth straight League of Legends Championship Series title. The final match against Cloud9 carried on for 5 nail-biting rounds, with Team Liquid eventually winning 3-2. Team Liquid won $100,000 along with the champion belt, and have qualified for the League of Legends World Championship, which is due to begin on October 2nd.

Six CS:GO pros arrested for match-fixing

Six Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players have been arrested by Australia’s Victoria Police over an alleged match-fixing scheme. Victoria Police allege the six players arranged the outcomes of tournament matches, all while placing bets on their own matches.

CS:GO, like many other esports, is no stranger to match fixing, and Valve banned five North American players from all major competitions back in 2015. But this is the first time legal action has been taken over CS: GO match-fixing, which means that the outcome could set a precedent for all future cases. If convicted, the players face up to ten years in prison.

Epic nerf mechs and turbo building in the latest Fortnite patches

Fortnite players finally got what they’ve been asking for: Nerfed mechs! Epic balanced the mechs by reducing their damage output and rate of fire, as well as making them spawn more rarely. Three days later, Epic nerfed Turbo Building (the primary way most professional players build) by making it significantly slower.

The turbo building change – like the addition of mechs – was an attempt to help new players feel like they are on an equal footing with veterans. As was the case with the mechs, it is likely that Epic will succumb to the pressure of the Fortnite community and revert the change in an upcoming patch.

News Bits

Yakuza 7 announced, and it’ll be… a JRPG?

SEGA has lifted the lid on Yakuza 7, which is now set in Yokohama, and will feature new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga. You can check out the first trailer now, which offers a significant look at the game… including a major surprise. Previous Yakuza games are all action-adventures, where players explore Japanese cities and get into direct action-game fights. Now the game has – brace yourself, Yakuza fans – become a JRPG, and all Yakuza 7’s fights will be played as turn-based battles. That’s quite a difference! Hopefully the series’ fans will take to the game-altering change when it releases next year.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What was Telltale Games first release?

Answer: Telltale Texas Hold ‘Em!

The recently resurrected Telltale Games has a pretty long history, and released their first game back in 2005. While the studio is most famous for their point-and-click games, their first game was actually Telltale Texas Hold ‘Em, a cute little poker game that would later be expanded into Poker Night at the Inventory.

Bone: Out From Boneville – an adaptation of the popular comic by Jeff Smith – was Telltale’s first licensed game, and remains its only real failure. Sam & Max: Season 1 (or Save The World) was the first episodic series Telltale completed, and its first big success – way before 2012’s The Walking Dead blew up and brought Telltale into the big league … and towards their eventual demise.

Weekly Giveaway

Mable & The Wood!

Time for another great giveaway! We have 5 Steam keys to give away, and all you have to do to enter the sweepstakes is to follow us on Twitter and on our Facebook page, and we will choose five random followers who will each receive a Mable & The Wood Steam key! It couldn’t be any easier.

Find out more about our giveaway here.