Telltale Games built a significant audience for their games over the last half-decade, enough to make them the largest adventure games developer and publisher. They’ve also taken credit for reviving the genre among the mainstream.
That’s not surprising coming from a company founded by, and still staffed with, developers who worked on several great adventure games for LucasArts in the 90s and early 00s. They’ve existed as they are since 2004 and have been making adventure games since the release of Bone: Out of Boneville in 2005, but Telltale didn’t become a household name since their adaptation of The Walking Dead hit it big alongside the comic and show in 2012. While the success of the series and its progeny has given them continued notoriety, it’s also provided them the budget to pursue adaptations of other works like The Wolf Among Us, Tales from the Borderlands, and even a Batman series.
Recently, they’ve received criticism from relying too heavily on The Walking Dead series in lieu of continuing other franchises, a trend Telltale apparently planned to continue for the time being. It was reported by Eurogamer (and picked up by several other sites) that Telltale isn’t working on successors to The Wolf Among Us or Tales from the Borderlands. This led to fans of both titles feeling dejected, though some of them understood that companies have to make the best decisions for their financial bottom line.
It’s a good thing that report wasn’t true, to the chagrin of only the press sites who reported it. Telltale confirmed three new projects in a Summer 2017 Update video address totaling nearly 13 minutes in length, which almost qualified as a Telltale Direct; one project among them was the cause for much rejoicing.
The first title announced was a second season to Batman: The Telltale Series, titled “Batman: The Enemy Within.” It will continue the Caped Crusader’s adventures from the first season, with The Riddler and The Joker being at least two of the villains involved this time. Though Batman will solve most of the puzzles and riddles, other decisions will have to be made outside the cape and cowl as Bruce Wayne. It’s a continuation, but the season is being made so anyone who didn’t play the first game can jump right in without any confusion, though the first season is still readily available. The praise for the last season wasn’t as universal compared to Telltale’s best, as changes to the traditional Bruce Wayne/Batman mythos rubbed some longtime fans the wrong way. But others liked the unexpected twists the writers concocted. The first episode of season 2 will launch on August 8th for PS4, XB1, and PC/Mac, with mobile versions coming later in the year.
In an unsurprising twist, Telltale is working on a fourth season of The Walking Dead. (Note that the three-episode Michonne series doesn’t count as a full season.) But for anyone who feels they’ve overly relied on the series, Telltale agrees, considering this is The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series — The Final Season. Clementine will return to the lead role this time, who’s perhaps the series’ most well-liked character, though delving into why would lead to spoiler territory. Since the third season, A New Frontier, just finished in late-May, this one won’t begin until sometime early next year on PC/Mac, mobile platforms, and currently-unknown consoles.
The most surprising announcement was for the second season of The Wolf Among Us, thanks to this news contradicting the Eurogamer scoop. It will star returning characters like Adam Harrington as Bigby Wolf and Erin Yvette as Snow White in a new story arc. Current story details are light, and the season doesn’t have a proper title, meaning far off it is compared to the other titles. It’s due to start releasing in the second half of 2018.
Telltale is working on these in addition to a couple of series that are still ongoing. The third, fourth, and fifth episodes in Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series are tentatively due for release in August, October, and December this year, respectively. Meanwhile, the first episode of Minecraft Story Mode: Season 2 just released last Tuesday, but the remaining four episodes have yet to be dated. It’s clear they have enough staff to work on several projects at once.
One issue Telltale’s fans are hoping they’ll finally fix with the upcoming seasons is their engine problems. Since the first season of TWD in 2012, their engine’s had compatibility issues across multiple platforms, including stuttering and freezing during gameplay, and even saves being lost. Telltale has resisted addressing many of them thus far, and based on the footage of the upcoming titles shown, it doesn’t appear that they will anytime soon. It’s possible complaints about their engine are limited to a small-but-dedicated group, and they don’t feel they’re worth catering to unless their sales slip. It’s cynical, yes, but hardly a surprising development.
More about these titles, including longer trailers, will arrive soon. But you probably shouldn’t look at them if you haven’t played their predecessors. If you want to experience them, keep your eye on PC and console marketplaces, as they’re constantly on sale.