Minecraft is the kind of relaxing, freeform sandbox game that anyone can enjoy, but its primary audience consists of young kids. So it's a surprise to hear that Minecraft: Story Mode, Telltale Games' narrative-driven Minecraft adventure from 2015, originally featured edgy T-rated humor and was targeted at older players.
Speaking with GamesIndustry, former Telltale narrative designer Emily Grace Buck explained that the first two episodes of Minecraft: Story Mode were heavily rewritten because they weren't appropriate for Minecraft's biggest demographic. There were even reports of a possible M-rating, with Buck saying some people "began asking 'why are there dick jokes in my Minecraft?'" This illustrated one of the key problems Buck saw at Telltale: studio executives misunderstanding their audience.
Buck has since clarified this point on Twitter. "The original Minecraft:Story Mode was intended to be T, not M," she said. "I played it, and it was not appropriate for young kids... but not that raunchy."
Oddly enough, Buck said Telltale ran into the opposite problem with its Guardians of the Galaxy game. "Our executive team insisted that what was popular about Guardians of the Galaxy, was darkness and violence, and sadness," she said. "And that people did not associate humour with that brand. So we redid the first two episodes to be less funny and more dark and more violent and more sad, and that's the game that shipped. And one of the biggest comments in editorial was that it felt very off-tone for Guardians of the Galaxy and wasn't very funny. And we were like 'we know.'"
Telltale Games recently closed after laying off nearly all of its staff. The Netflix port of Minecraft: Story Mode was the only one of its projects to survive the closure. However, Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season was resurrected by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and Skybound Games.
Skybound Games recently held a Q&A explaining its plan to finish The Walking Dead: The Final Season "with the people who have brought it this far."