Nearly a year after its abrupt closure, Telltale Games and some of its games have been acquired by LCG Entertainment, a new holding company which plans to relaunch the studio, sell some of the games which were delisted following its closure, and potentially make use of such IP as The Wolf Among Us and the Batman games.
"Even now, when you see a game with strong narrative, it’s always compared to Telltale, so it’s no surprise that players and industry colleagues alike mourned the studio’s closure," says LCG co-head Jamie Ottilie, now CEO of Telltale. "We believe there is still so much life to the brand and its franchises, and we look forward to building upon the company’s storytelling legacy."
"There is still a huge fanbase of Telltale players and that’s one of the main reasons we decided to make this investment," says LCG co-head Brian Waddle, now CRO of the new Telltale. "It’s hard to see your favorite games disappear or not get the sequels they deserve, so we thank everyone for their patience and support. We’ve got some exciting things to share soon. We’ll try not to keep them waiting too long, but we think fans will be pleased."
In an interview with Polygon, Ottilie confirmed that LCG now owns the rights to The Wolf Among Us, Batman, and Telltale originals like Puzzle Agent. However, The Walking Dead still belongs to Skybound, which stepped in to support the series' Final Season in the wake of Telltale's closure last year. Similarly, Stranger Things is in Netflix's wheelhouse now. The status and future of the studio's Borderlands, Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Minecraft IP is unclear. "We’re still evaluating, but we definitely want to continue some of the stories," Ottilie said.
While the studio's name and IP may be revived, the Telltale we know and love has been dead and gone for months. More importantly, the people that built it have all long since moved on, hopefully to new and better positions. The only active 'project' leftover from the original Telltale is the still-ongoing class action lawsuit filed against the company on behalf of the 275 employees who were abruptly laid off without severance - which, it's worth pointing out, won't affect the new studio under LCG.
Ottilie confirmed to Polygon that former Telltale employees will be offered freelance work at the new company, and that full-time positions may become available to them in the future. But as it stands, apart from some "unofficial" input, as Polygon put it, from former Telltale managers - who, as we well know, were unable to save the company - few or none of the original Telltale staff are working under LCG. So rather than resurrection, this is more like necromancy. LCG is putting the corpse of Telltale to work, not giving it new life. The studio's name is back; the studio itself is not. Acquisitions like this happen all the time, and sometimes they even lead to good games - just look at THQ Nordic and Darksiders 3. That said, diehard Telltale fans should temper their expectations.
At least Telltale's The Walking Dead: Final Season went off with a bang - you can watch its story trailer here.