Can Telltale Games Pull Off Their Busy 2014 Schedule?

If you didn’t know already, Telltale Games have been one of the fastest rising developers in the industry in the past couple of years. After the huge success of last year’s The Walking Dead which won countless game of the year awards, Telltale certainly have some ambitious plans for the future. As of right now the studio is currently working on FOUR episodic series for release in 2014. Let’s discuss what this means and without or not it is the best plan of action for the beloved studio.

The series which has undoubtedly gained the studio their most success is the aforementioned season 1 of The Walking Dead. Since the season ended what seems like ages ago back in November 2012 we haven’t had much to keep us interested. The nice but short DLC episode 400 Days arrived in July 2013 and since then we have to settle for just a promise that season 2 is coming. Looking likely to be arriving this month it will mark over one year between seasons and quite frankly I think that’s too long.

Of course these things take time but you really have to strike while the iron is hot and people are interested in your game. The industry has changed a lot since season 1 with the arrival of new consoles and you wonder if the momentum will continue for the new season. Will saves from previous consoles carry over or will some people have to go back to their old consoles if they want to continue their personal story? Lots of questions are hovering over whether Telltale can emulate the huge success with the new season.

Since The Walking Dead ended, Telltale have also started a new episodic series in the form of The Wolf Among Us. Episode 1 was released in October 2013 to great reception but we still haven’t got episode 2 yet and with TWD returning next we must assume it will be arriving early 2014. Is this too big of a gap between episodes which ideally should be coming every 1-2 months?

This brings us onto the new adventures Telltale are also taking up in 2014. Recently announced are the two new series in the form of Tales of Borderlands and a Game of Thrones adaptation. It is obvious that after their success in 2012 many people were interested in working with the studio and these two IPs seemed to big for them to refuse. But is it a good idea when they seem to already be struggling to hit dates? Let’s break it down.

History shows that Telltale like to take their time with things. 2013 so far has only produced Poker Night 2, 400 Days DLC, and The Wolf Among Us Episode 1. Compare this to what they want to release in 2014 and it seems pretty much impossible, but there is another way of looking at things.

Earlier in the year Telltale expanded to a new location and raised their number of employees from 125 to 160. Due to not releasing much content presumably this means there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes and all four series should already have a lot of work done on them. Telltale don’t like announcing things until shortly before they release them so it potentially means that The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead season 2 are further along than we think.

Again it is just purely speculation but in theory they could alternate now between the two series releasing one new episode a month and have them both finished by around August. They could then focus on their two new series for the rest of the year and pull off an incredible year of releases. That’s if everything goes to plan of course.

We ultimately won’t know whether they can pull it off until this time next year and while I’m rooting for them entirely, I do fear for the quality. The worst case scenario is that all the series become rushed to get them out on time and end up nowhere near their full potential. As someone who personally isn’t that interested in the two new announcements and hasn’t got around to playing The Wolf Among Us yet, I selfishly wish they would just focus on finally getting season 2 of The Walking Dead out. After all, one whole year of waiting already I’m worried they might not be able to recapture the magic that made us all fall in love with the series and Telltale as a studio in the first place.

27 Comments
27 Comments
Posted by Baillie

Basically all of TellTales games before TWD was pretty terrible. We'll see if it was a flash in the pan or not in the coming year, I guess.

Edited by SlashDance
@baillie said:

Basically all of TellTales games before TWD was pretty terrible.

edit: By the way, Telltale released 5 games in 2010, not counting the first episode of Back to the Future, which came out in december. Not all of them were bangers (in fact I'm pretty sure the CSI game was crap) but Telltale was a smaller company at the time. You'd think after Walking Dead made them a shit ton of money, they've been able to grow significantly.

I'm honestly not too worried.

Posted by Veektarius

Does anyone have any idea when WAU gets another episode? I thought it was supposed to be out.

Edited by Chop

@veektarius said:

Does anyone have any idea when WAU gets another episode? I thought it was supposed to be out.

Episode 2 should already be out if they intend to hit their target release for the series. It's gotta be coming by the end of the year

But yeah, I think it could become a problem for them in the future if they intend to keep working like this. I mean, the scatter-shot release schedule makes it really hard to justify buying the whole game up front.

Edited by Freezer_Burn

I remember having a similar reaction back when they first announced they were working on games based on Fables and The Walking Dead, while still having Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, and other stuff in production.

Whilst the quality of all the games were variable, they did manage.

Posted by billymagnum

i dont think after all their recent successes they will have any problem. besides they are always good for vague release dates.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

I don't care for all these second guessing threads/blogs/news articles, but it's not like Telltale has a history of staying on release target, so I'm starting to get where people are coming from.

Edited by crithon

honestly, it'd be best if Telltale could do something else well like Klei Entertainment for example we wouldn't be asking these questions. I always wanted them to finish Bone, because that's my favorite comic ever.

Posted by wallee321

TWD and WAU will probably take bit longer than to finish off; done a little after the middle of the year. The two new series will probably sneak out at the end of the year, or only one launches next year.

I dunno, hoping they haven't bit off too much; best of luck to them. I think they take feed back after each episode, so I don't know how reasonable it is for people to expect a new episode every month. I mean, I'm sure the future episodes have their story, engine and ground work done, but still......

Edited by BeachThunder

@baillie said:

Basically all of TellTales games before TWD was pretty terrible.

Yep. I really enjoyed the Sam and Max games, particularly #3. Also, don't tell anyone, but I liked Jurassic Park (sans the unforgiving QTE bits).

Posted by Rabidlamb

I'm more worried for walking dead knowing the two creators left to form their own studio than the number of games planned.

Posted by Jaytow

Probably

Edited by SamStrife

The way they've handled The Wolf Among Us has really left a sour taste in my mouth. 3 months between episodes just isn't fair on the people who bought that game at the start, especially when you consider between Episode 1 and 2, there will have been 2 Steam sales.

Otherwise, my opinion is play the franchise you enjoy the most and ignore the ones you're indifferent on, to avoid being burnt out and hope they can keep the quality high, which I'm sure they will.

Edited by Tennmuerti

It's not like their games are overly complicated and ambitious.

Aside of having teams of writers and voice work on all of those games and some artists (which again not that much of a strain with their assets and style), there isn't all that much for them to do gameplay wise or engine wise. They are basically using the same blueprint to just make more (streamlined) content.

That's not to say there won't be delays or anything.

Posted by Brodehouse

TellTale struggled to get the original Walkind Dead's episodes out in the months they said they would. "June" meant "June 30th" and so on. Now they have increased the scope of their work enormously and I'm going to imagine there won't be severe delays? I don't know about that.

Posted by Dragon_Puncher

Taletale couldn't even keep to up with there promised release schedule, when they were just making TWD, trying to juggle between 4 different episodic games, will be a nightmare for them.

I have a feeling one of the games will get canned in the end, the most likely being Tales from the Borderlands. Either they release one episode which doesn't live up to sales expectations and cancel the rest or just realize that Game of Thrones is a much hotter IP and try to get out of their contract with gearbox, so they can focus on making that.

I also don't think they are very far in devolopment of either game. In their reveal especially Game of Thrones sounded like they just got the licence.

Posted by _Mattallica

The more I think about it, the more I think the outcome of the quality of all series being considerably lower is the most likely outcome. The Walking Dead episode next week will be very interesting.

Posted by AlexW00d

Fairly sure they've been knocking out the same amount of games for the last couple of years, it's just none of you paid attention to them before the Walking Dead series.

Edited by ILikePopCans

@_mattallica: I don't see why you're so worry.

Just like Jeff has said on the bombcast, their team has grown a shit ton. Their games are not AAA so even if they are working on 4 games they don't need 100 people per game. They probably have plenty of people per project.

Also each game is at a different stages of their life. TWD2 and The Wolf Among Us are coming out so they don't need writers and designers like GOT and BLs and vice versa with programmers.

I don't work for TellTale and don't make games so this is all speculation and I won't be surprise if one of the 4 games will be bad. But I don't think all the games will be worse because of how many projects their working on.

Edited by ArtisanBreads

I'm confused why everyone is freaking out about this. I mean, I get it's a lot for one studio but these are all adventure games that can be based off the same tech. It's not like they're making a racing game, an RPG, and a shooter.

Plus their studio got a lot bigger after TWD.

The only thing for me is why the fuck are they making a BL adventure game (yuck) but otherwise it's all good.

Posted by CircleNine

Is Borderlands even interesting enough in terms of story and setting to carry an adventure game? Or will it exclusively be Trying Too Hard To Be Funny One Note Characters?

Anyways, for me personally, aside from TWD Telltale hasn't done anything that I've had that much of an interest in or thought was particularly good. But hey Steam sales mean I'll be an idiot and buy anything cause it's cheap so I've played a lot of their stuff anyways.

Posted by wohlf

I have two main concerns, them not hitting episode release dates and singlehandedly saturating the market. I have no problems with first episodes getting pushed back, but when someone pays for the game upfront expecting monthly episodes and you don't hit those release dates, that's pretty shitty and you're burning your most loyal customers.

Posted by RE_Player1

No. One game will suffer and I have a feeling it will be Borderlands.

Posted by CreepyUncleBrad

@baillie said:

Basically all of TellTales games before TWD was pretty terrible. We'll see if it was a flash in the pan or not in the coming year, I guess.

Yeah I mean other than the three seasons of Sam and Max and Tales of Monkey Island. Oh and Hector: Badge of Carnage was pretty good. Oh and Poker Night at the Inventory. So yeah, no good games at all.

Posted by afabs515

Is Borderlands even interesting enough in terms of story and setting to carry an adventure game? Or will it exclusively be Trying Too Hard To Be Funny One Note Characters?

Isn't that just Borderlands?

Edited by Baillie
Posted by _Mattallica

@alexw00d:

"2013 so far has only produced Poker Night 2, 400 Days DLC, and The Wolf Among Us Episode 1."

The few previous years were slightly more productive but nowhere near what they want to achieve in 2014. Not saying it won't happen just stating what history has shown.