Two People Who Didn’t Work At Telltale Games Say They’re Bringing Back Telltale Games

Two People Who Didn’t Work At Telltale Games Say They’re Bringing Back Telltale Games

Telltale Games is back — well, at least the name is.

A group of investors announced plans today to revive the iconic studio, which shut down last September, although with the company’s staff having scattered to the winds, this seems less like a revival and more like one of Clementine’s enemies.

Today, Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle, two men who did not work at Telltale Games, told press that they had secured the rights to the company’s name and some of its licenses, and that they will be reviving the company in Malibu, California. (The original one was located in San Rafael, California, which is 644km northwest.)

Ottilie’s background is in mobile licensed development (Duck Dynasty, Power Rangers) while Waddle worked at the outsourcing company Virtuos and the physics software maker Havoc. The money for this venture is coming from a publisher called Athlon Games, a subsidiary of the Chinese video game holding company Leyou, as well as a group of executives who have worked for game publishers like Rebellion and Starbreeze.

In other words, a bunch of people are taking a familiar, beloved name and slapping it on something brand new. Telltale Games, of course, was the company responsible for critically acclaimed adventure games like The Walking Dead and Tales From The Borderlands before unexpectedly closing in September 2018.

And what about the people who worked at the old Telltale Games? Polygon spoke to Ottilie, who told them (and I’m quoting Polygon here) “that some workers from the original Telltale Games will be offered freelance roles, with full-time positions possible in the future.”

Of course, given that Telltale’s staff were all unceremoniously fired last September without severance and were left scurrying to find new jobs, many of them have gone elsewhere. But it’s nice to know that those who didn’t find employment or are looking to return to the shambling corpse of Telltale may find “full-time positions possible in the future.”

Ottilie also told Polygon that they plan to re-sell some of the old Telltale games—many of which have been delisted from digital stores—and try to continue making new ones. It remains unclear just how many of Telltale’s staff will work with this new company in Malibu.

Headlines across the internet this morning have declared that Telltale Games is back, but as always, it’s important to remember that brands don’t make video games; people do. And this reboot of Telltale Games has enough red flags to set off a rodeo.


  • To be fair Telltale were making some rubbish towards the end of their life – the Game of Thrones series was atrocious for example, and they abandoned promising titles like The Wolf Among Us. Their glory days were over when they died.

  • Telltale were a one hit wonder. When they started off with the Walking Dead as a smaller studio, you could forgive the linear stories and very average graphics. After playing The Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us, Game of Thrones, Borderlands, Batman etc etc etc.. You could literally tell at the choice moments that your choice wouldn’t matter because of their inability to create complex weaving stories. It was really disappointing to see as they grew to see nothing changed. If they’d became more complex as they grew and we saw huge branching narratives, they would still be around today.

    Another annoying thing they didn’t change up was the episodic formula. It was easy to forgive when they were a small start up company that needed funds to keep on finishing the game, but when they were multiple titles deep with massive funding behind them, the episodic formula was obnoxious and took customers for a ride.

    • The reason why these games were episodic was to allow for the choices people made to actually influence the story? Dunno if you actually ever looked into how The Wolf Among Us actually went down but they ended up ditching the original story they had planned because of the choices the people made when the first episode came out. Same for why Kenny’s death was retconned out of the first season of TWDG.

      While now the choices thing doesn’t matter too much now, at the time they did. Saying that the choices never ‘matter’ is entirely wrong. I get the episodic style was annoying but it did actually allow for changes to be made.

    • I’d say my favourite two titles that I played would be the first season of The Walking Dead and the Back to the Future game. BTTF lacked all the pretence of ‘choices matter’ and was a fun, well written and acted adventure that was a love letter to the movies.

      I’ve heard that the buyers have given customers access to their game libraries that had been through the Telltales games site which is a very positive step, since that was where all my collection had been.

  • Given how much of a shmozzle the studio closure was, I’m surprised the IP is worth reviving. I wonder if it comes with any previously worked out licencing deals come with it.

  • Why did the author put such a negative slant on this article?
    Yeah, none of the original staff are presently there but after how TTG ended with 400 people maybe that’s a good thing.

    • Because we’re back to actual journalism instead of rage-bait, and this is actually worrying?
      Because brands DON’T make a game, as many of us have known for years, and the fact it still has to be said to people is disappointing?
      Because while Telltale Games ended up with 400ish people, they were still making games that people enjoyed and were being horribly mismanaged by higher ups that had no clue what they were doing, and didn’t know how to evolve?
      Because the original staff didn’t fuck everything up, but were the ones actually making the games people liked even if the formula the higher ups continued to push with zero change had grown stale?
      Because PEOPLE are the ones who make the good games, and those people were the ones who made Telltale the name it was?
      Because yet another Chinese subsidiary is actually worrying in and of itself, what with Chinese entities regularly buying up huge swathes of the gaming industry and changing it all to suite their own wants and needs, slowly evolving things to function in the way China wants things to function?
      Because Telltale being necro’d isn’t necessarily a good thing, and has zero guarantee of being a good thing?
      Because they’re basically pulling a Reloaded Productions?
      Because the people who have necro’d this thing are Mobile game oriented?
      Because entities that are usually geared toward the mobile platform don’t tend to do very well when they decide to pick something up to get a foothold in PC or console games, bringing their mobile practices to those platforms, which seldom goes down well? (Particularly these days, with all of the extra backlash for piss-poor monetization schemes.)

      I see plenty of reasons why Jason would run this with a negative slant instead of the positive slant most of the media have been running with. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually agree with his choice of slant.

      Can this turn out to be a positive? Sure, but it has enough red flags to immediately assume it won’t.

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