Telltale Games is proving itself to be the little publisher that could after distinguishing themselves amongst the whirlwind of critically-acclaimed games released in 2013. The publisher’s episodic series “The Walking Dead” won over 90 Game of the Year awards by itself. The emotionally-gripping story is the kind of game Telltale Games has been trying to bring to the forefront since they first broke ground in the industry with the release of “Sam & Max Save The World” in late 2006.
In the time since, they’ve adapted other massively popular franchises with similar comedic storytelling – series like “Homestar Runner,” “Wallace & Gromit” and “Monkey Island.” It was in 2010, after securing licenses with NBC, that Telltale Games took on “Back to the Future” and “Jurassic Park,” two series many people know and love.
In 2011 the developer acquired rights to “The Walking Dead” franchise and a little-known series called “Fables,” a comic published by DC’s Vertigo. Towards the end of 2013 the developer also announced plans to take on “Game of Thrones” and Gearbox’s “Borderlands,” the latter of which is already in development. Telltale Games has a great thing going, whether they’re using their mastery of comedy and drama to give some new soul to a series or keeping in line with the tradition of others. Unfortunately, not everything has been so shiny and glossy with their creations.
Though Telltale Games has taken off recently, they aren’t without their share of past woes. “Jurassic Park” was released episodically in November 2011, though it only came to the Xbox 360 as a bundled game and received middling reviews. “Back to the Future,” received only a slightly warmer reception.
So not all was or is gold and glory for Telltale. In spite of recent successes, the question is raised: will Telltale be able to take on two new series? “Game of Thrones” has shown itself to be a titan in rich mythology and storytelling on its own. An adaptation of a series already fanatically loved for its story can be tricky to maneuver.
The very popular “Borderlands” will be a different take, entitled “Tales of the Borderlands.” This adaptation will be taking a game not known for its storyline and fleshing it out into something better– no easy feat. But, it may be more do-able for Telltale than “Game of Thrones,” since there is more room for interpretation.
Telltale Games has made it clear that they place more emphasis on the story and the characters entangled in it than flashy cinematics or gimmicks– which may just be enough to keep any of their endeavors successful.