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

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The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – The Final Season

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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.