LCG Entertainment to Revive Telltale Games

LCG Entertainment have announced they will be reviving Telltale Games.

For those unfamiliar, after several large-scale lay-offs and being unable to finish their The Walking Dead series, Telltale Games filed for liquidation in November 2018.

The announcement came via Business Wire explaining how the company intends to re-release older games via Athalon Games (a partner who will also handle storefront operations), create new games, and working along-side several “veteran” developers.

“LCG Entertainment, a holding company that will be doing business as Telltale Games, today announced that it has purchased the defunct studio’s key assets, trademarks, technology, and select intellectual properties with the intent of re-releasing select games from the studio’s back catalog and developing new games in some of the company’s best-selling brands. The purchase, led by Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle, was made possible by a pool of investors and advisors comprised of well-known names in the games industry including Chris Kingsley, Lyle Hall, Tobias Sjögren, Athlon Games (as a shareholder and publishing partner), and several additional partners.”

Jamie Ottilie, CEO of the new Telltale Games had this to say:

“All of us were big fans of the games Telltale created, as we strongly believe in games as a storytelling medium and nobody did it better. 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. 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.”

An interesting point of note is that some former staff may return. “Key talent from the original company has been hired or contracted by the new Telltale.” The press release ends with “news regarding the reissue of specific back catalog titles and new games in existing IP’s will be announced in the coming weeks.”

In an interview with Polygon, Jamie Ottilie confirmed that “some workers from the original Telltale Games will be offered freelance roles, with full-time positions possible in the future.” At least one commenter on Twitter was dissatisfied in light of the companies former financial trouble. “So Telltale goes under, immediately lays off a huge number of permanent staff, doesn’t pay them for the 60-days notice in their contract, and now they want to rehire those same people as FREELANCERS with the vague hint they might get permanent jobs in future. Pretty gross.”

Ottilie also revealed the company had reclaimed licences for The Wolf Among Us, Batman, and original IPs such as Puzzle Agent. Ottilie also added “There are some other expired licenses that we’re looking at.” 

While he stated “We’re still evaluating, but we definitely want to continue some of the stories,” IPs now owned by Skybound such as The Walking Dead are unlikely to fall back into their hands. In addition, their IP rights for Stranger Things had reverted back to Netflix.

Continuing, Ottilie explained how he felt reviving TellTale Games was a good idea, and its initial failure was due to conditions beyond their control:

“This is a viable business that went away due to market conditions and some scale choices [Telltale’s previous management] made. I like games that tell stories and I think our industry should have a company that specializes in narrative-driven games.”

Finally, Ottilie also stated if the company would continue the style of games TellTale were known for:

“We will probably keep the concept of episodes but with different pacing. 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.”

What do you think of the entire situation? Sound off in the comments below!

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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