The Walking Dead developer Telltale Games is alive again, with renewed financial backing

Written by Neil Soutter on Thu, Aug 29, 2019 11:56 AM
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It’s still almost two months to go until Halloween and yet we’re already hearing spooky tales of Telltale Games coming back from the dead. It’s being revived by two men, Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle, who secured the rights to Telltale’s name and licenses when the developer went under last year.

Of course, this isn’t the same Telltale Games we knew and loved before. The hundreds of employees are all gone; unceremoniously dumped after plenty of bad management saw their jobs go up in flames. Ottilie and Waddle never even worked there. 

The zombie-like corpse of Telltale Games rises then, funded by a publisher called Athlon Games, which is itself a subsidiary of Chinese firm Leyou. For their part, Ottilie and Waddle do at least have some experience in the games industry; Ottilie worked on mobile licenced games and Waddle worked at Microsoft subsidiary Havok, the physics middleware specialist.

"This is a viable business that went away due to market conditions and some scale choices made," said Ottilie during a chat with Polygon. "I like games that tell stories and I think our industry should have a company that specializes in narrative-driven games." There already are a ton but okay.

The born again Telltale Games which still own the rights to a number of franchises, including Batman and The Wolf Among Us. The rights to The Walking Dead are long gone though, while the likes of Tales from the Borderlands, Minecraft, Game of Thrones, and Guardians of the Galaxy are surely as good as gone. 

For the time being them, it looks as if the priority will just be getting Telltale back on its feet. Ottilie has opened up the possibility of re-hiring some ex-Telltale employees across both full-time and freelance positions. We’d imagine keeping things small is the order of the day. By the end, Telltale had bitten off far more than it could chew and was left juggling several episodic franchises simultaneously. 

“We will probably keep the concept of episodes but with different pacing” continued Ottilie. “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.” We’ll take this as a hint that he’s planning Telltale finish up all episodes in a season simultaneously, negating the eternal wait we sometimes got.

We'll be keeping a close eye on how this one pans out, although don't expect to hear anything further for a good while yet.

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19:03 Aug-29-2019

hmm i would be interested only into maybe a The Walking Dead but its finished other game i would be interested is Tales from Borderlands but they are brnging all of thos character to Borderlands 3 so idk

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13:36 Aug-29-2019

Would be amazing if we saw a good follow up to The Wolf Among Us!


The problem TellTale had was trying to develop too many games at once, and having to rush them. They should focus on just a few core series, and release episodes faster.


Telltale without Walking Dead though? Not sure how that will work.

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14:23 Aug-29-2019

Yeah it's in another studio's hands since they finished it up. I also would hope for them to skip the episodic thing and release full games maybe im in the minority here but i always ended up waiting for all the episodes to come out im not a fan of slowly releasing content personally.

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12:58 Aug-29-2019

They're being brought back by a mobile guy dev and a havok dev XD but i would like to see a wolf among us sequel they need to switch up the formula and do something new, new engine,new design, maybe some actual choices.. XD i loved the first season of walking dead and wolf among us everything else meh...

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12:34 Aug-29-2019

The thing is they went bankrupt for a reason. Bad visuals, cookie cutter story, meaningless choices... The formula needs a very strong story to support the game and draw the player in like the walking dead season 1 and not milk it until no one played it.

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18:59 Aug-29-2019

idk people loved every theyr game, visuals are just how they have to be, i preffered theyr old engine that they used for walking dead 1 and 2 the one that is more cartonish like, story of all theyr games was average

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10:25 Aug-30-2019

Did they? Walking Dead S1 and the Wolf Among Us were their big hits, but I've rarely seen other games of their be appreciated and liked to the same extent.

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11:05 Aug-30-2019

Actually i completely forgot you could also add Tales from the borderlands to their "hit list" i dont even like borderlands and i loved that game. But yeah other than walking dead S1 and wolf among us i havent heard much people praise others apperently the batman one was okay or good but i havent played it and not inte

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12:27 Aug-29-2019

I just want The Wolf Among Us Season 2

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