Telltale Games is a exceedingly busy developer these days. Between Game of Thrones, Tales from the Borderlands, an upcoming Minecraft game, and potential future seasons of both The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, it's difficult to imagine the adventure game developer taking on too many more projects without straight-up exploding.
But that's just what the company is doing. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner announced a new joint venture with Lionsgate Entertainment for an original show/game that Bruner refers to as a "Super Show." What does a Super Show entail, you might ask? Here's Bruner's description:
A “Super Show” episode combines one part of interactive playable content with one part of scripted television style content. Both pieces, when combined together, are what make an actual Super Show “episode.” As we’ve been developing the series, we’re using both mediums in concert to deliver our story. Developing both aspects simultaneously is key to utilizing this new medium. Both parts are first class citizens during the writing and design process. It’s not an interactive series with a show, or a TV show with a game, but a story integrated in a way that only Telltale can do. For us it’s a very natural evolution of the interactive story telling expertise we’ve pioneered.
Bruner goes on to explain that each Super Show episode will include both the scripted and interactive components, and will release on a schedule that he described as "more predictable like TV scheduling, but still a bit further apart like our games." This first original Super Show, which is in development with an as-yet-unannounced "world-class creative partner," will be set in an original universe, though Bruner hinted that future Super Show projects could be developed with existing licenses. He also notes that Telltale still plans to release more games using their current episodic format.
As someone who has played (and enjoyed more often than not) Telltale's recent episodic outings, this interview leaves me somewhat split. In some respects, it sounds like a natural progression for the kinds of transmedia storytelling plenty of other companies have developed in recent years, but I also can't help but be wary of anything that spreads Telltale any thinner than it already appears to be from the outside looking in. The company has already had difficulty keeping the quality of its seasonal releases at a consistent level (as this recent Kotaku story helpfully illustrates). Lionsgate has invested in Telltale as a part of this deal, which should afford them additional resources for this project.
We'll bring you more on this new Super Show project as it becomes available.