In August of this year LCG Entertainment resurrected Telltale Games and relaunched the development studio. Last week, the studio announced the revival of the its first project, the narrative-driven game The Wolf Among Us 2 at the 2019 Game Awards. The Wolf Among Us 2 was one of mxdwn’s 10 Biggest Things from the Game Awards livestream last week.
The numerous difficulties and subsequent closure of the previous Telltale Games were public and widely reported, and it’s important to not confuse the old Telltale Games and the new one under LCG Entertainment. The current Telltale Games keeps the name and a collection of IPs, including The Wolf Among Us, it is now an entirely different business entity. Some previous Telltale Games employees (some were reportedly offered freelance) are working under LCG Entertainment’s new studio, and LCG wants to make sure it’s clear to gamers that the studio is different this time around.
We are taking a measured and methodical approach to growth in order to ensure we can provide a stable, non-crunch work environment. We are building this into our culture from the outset.
In an interview with IGN, the CEO of LCG Entertainment and the new Telltale Games Jaimie Ottilie explained that he doesn’t want to rest on the laurels of the previous Telltale Games projects’ successes. “We’re frustrated by people who have suggested this is opportunistic or simply a money grab for the catalog of games without even giving us a chance,” Ottilie told IGN. “We have all jumped into this with the intention of standing the company back up and continuing the legacy of telling stories that people want to play. However, most of this was expected and, really, all we can do is put our heads down and focus on making great content worthy of the Telltale name.”
The Telltale name carries positive and negative connotations. After mass layoffs and a full collapse in September of last year, many suggested that internal issues related to unreasonable and dangerous “crunch culture” and unwise managerial moves were partially responsible. This time around, the new Telltale Games with LCG Entertainment is working hard to make sure that these issues are prevented from the get-go.
“We are taking a measured and methodical approach to growth in order to ensure we can provide a stable, non-crunch work environment. We are building this into our culture from the outset,” Ottilie explained. Acknowledging the skeptics, he went on to add: “All we can do is be forthcoming; we can’t control whether critics hear or believe us. The truth is we are a new company – with different ownership and management, and a different approach as to how we structure a studio in today’s market.”
Ottilie’s new Telltale Games will be building The Wolf Among Us 2 in a new engine based on Unreal, and told IGN that they are “in the process of recreating the most important aspects of the Telltale tool for the new pipeline.” The former Vice President of Engineering at the original Telltale has been brought on board to help work on the “Telltale Tool” as the Chief Technology Officer. Telltale will also be working with the company AdHoc to develop The Wolf Among Us 2. Adhoc is an entity made up of ex-Telltale developers that includes the directors of the first The Wolf Among Us Nick Herman and Dennis Lenart as well as The Wolf Among Us writer Pierre Shorette.
The Wolf Among Us series and is based on the Fables comics from DC Comics/ Vertigo and follows Bigsby Wolf, the “Big Bad Wolf.” The revived The Wolf Among Us 2 from the new Telltale Games studio doesn’t have a release window yet, but more information is likely to emerge as the game’s development cycle progresses.