Telltale Games may have been dead for nearly a year now, but a zombie version of the brand is poised to rise, much like a character from the company’s Walking Dead games.
Holding company LCG Entertainment will be taking on the “key assets, trademarks, technology, and select intellectual properties” of the old Telltale Games, according to a statement released by the newly formed corporation. The new company will be focused on “re-releasing select games from the studio’s back catalog and developing new games in some of the company’s best-selling brands,” according to the announcement.
GameDaily reports on the efforts by game industry veterans James Ottilie and Brian Waddle to purchase and revive the Telltale Games brand. The pair—best known for work on mobile and licensed games and game engine marketing, respectively—joined with a number of industry investors to make an offer for the remains of the company as early as December, according to GameDaily. That was followed by months of negotiations with Telltale’s creditors, Polygon reports.
“There is still a huge fanbase of Telltale players and that’s one of the main reasons we decided to make this investment,” Waddle said in a statement. “It’s hard to see your favorite games disappear or not get the sequels they deserve, so we thank everyone for their patience and support. We’ve got some exciting things to share soon. We’ll try not to keep them waiting too long, but we think fans will be pleased.”
LCG’s purchase includes the rights to The Wolf Among Us and Batman licenses, Polygon reports, as well as Telltale originals like Puzzle Agent. The fate of other Telltale licenses—including the currently not-sold-online Tales from the Borderlands series—are not being publicly discussed, save for The Walking Dead, which is now controlled by Skybound. A previously announced Telltale Stranger Things collaboration remains canceled, though, as the rights have reportedly reverted back to Netflix.
In name only?
LCG says in its announcement that “key talent from the original company has been hired or contracted by the new Telltale,” without going into detail on who that might include. But Ottilie told Polygon that “some workers from the original Telltale Games will be offered freelance roles, with full-time positions possible in the future.”
That’s probably cold comfort to the roughly 250 Telltale staffers who were unceremoniously let go last year. Polygon adds that the executives and founders of the original Telltale are not involved with the revival, though “some former managers have been consulted in an unofficial capacity.”
A class-action lawsuit brought by some of those staffers for firing without cause remains ongoing, but Polygon reports that it won’t affect the new holding company.
Telltale’s brand name revival continues a proud tradition of dead gaming companies returning in almost unrecognizable forms. Atari is the prototypical example, with the original arcade and console maker going through decades of corporate juggling and restructuring only to come back recently with a Kickstarter-backed revival of the VCS. Retro brands like Coleco and Intellivision have planned similar nostalgia-tinged revivals with extremely mixed success. ARS T
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