“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.”
The Wolf Among Us 2 Reveal Screens
Since 2017, the entity now known as the former Telltale struggled to stay afloat financially. The issues stemmed from a crowded development pipeline with quick turnarounds for the company’s episodic-style video games. This, in turn, led to intense crunch at the company.
The new Telltale, which is operated by a management team not associated with the former version of the company, says it won’t repeat the same mistakes as the old one. “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.”
The new Telltale has been saying as much since its revival, but you’d be forgiven for having a hard time hearing this message. “There is always confusion and clouding of messaging when trying to restart a company that was dissolved. Even more so with a beloved brand like Telltale that came to an abrupt end,” Telltale said.The first major game out of the new Telltale is The Wolf Among Us 2. Details are sparse, but Telltale says that this is a “complete reboot” of the game. It will not be associated with a previously announced Wolf Among Us sequel that was announced by the old Telltale. Which, again, adds a layer of confusion to Telltale’s current situation.
As announced, The Wolf Among Us 2 will be on a new, Unreal-based engine. But the company says it is “in the process of recreating the most important aspects of the Telltale tool for the new pipeline.” To help, Telltale hired Zac Litton, the former VP of Engineering at the former Telltale and head of the Telltale Tool, as CTO.
Telltale also reached out to AdHoc to develop The Wolf Among Us 2. Adhoc is a separate company made up of ex-Telltale developers including The Wolf Among Us 1 directors Nick Herman and Dennis Lenart and The Wolf Among Us writer Pierre Shorette.
On working with Adhoc, Telltale says:
“We approached AdHoc. We started the conversation very early on in the process because we really wanted The Wolf Among Us 2 to be a faithful sequel to the original and to be the first new game to enter development at the new Telltale. We spent quite a bit of time discussing the project with the team and AdHoc, making sure that this would be a good partnership The team at AdHoc was always our first choice to lead the narrative and cinematic direction for this game, and we are thrilled to be working with them.”
However, with the old Telltale name and working on an already announced sequel developed by former developers, on a new engine that’s being worked on by the former head of the old engine; new Telltale will likely continue to face some confusion over how exactly it will be different from old Telltale.
“Of course, 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,” Telltale says. “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.”
Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN. You can reach him on Twitter.