Concerns for new Telltale
So after the reveal of a new IP with the subtitle ‘A Telltale Series’ making way it appears new Telltale is beginning to take it’s first steps to carrying on the company’s legacy, and I for one am both excited and curious to see where they take it. With that anticipation comes some concerns however, and I’m worried if the right decisions aren’t taken we will be forced to see this company die out a second time.
What do I mean by this? If I remember right, a lot of Telltale’s past titles were commercial failures or disappointments aside from the Walking Dead and Minecraft, which is especially profound given the high profile of many of the IPs they secured. Something went wrong in either how Telltale marketed their games, developed their games or both, and given the old Telltale’s fall into bankruptcy, something has to change in order for the new team to keep from repeating the company’s history.
Another issue I feel will need to be overcome is the brand’s reputation itself. The name Telltale is unfortunately tainted by bad press of it’s old fallen state in more ways than one. From horrendous management decisions, to glitches, to the illusion of choice turning many away, there is a number of people in the gaming community that view old Telltale with scorn. New Telltale needs to turn heads if they want to break away from this stigma of it’s past management.
From my view in order for new Telltale to survive the company has to be truly committed to constantly breaking new ground in interactive storytelling. Choices are going to have to matter more and more in these new games. To me that’s the failure that killed Telltale on top of poor management. You can’t base your whole model on a smoke and mirrors trick. If Telltale is going to put all it’s eggs into this basket again it needs to break it’s formula down to a science, and be willing to adapt to what the players want to the best of their ability.
Another important factor that I feel is necessary to regain Telltales reputation is cinematography (or the video game equivalent anyways). If Telltale wants to be taken seriously as a driver in cinematic storytelling then these games need to look the part. Animation must be as smooth as possible. Obviously we can’t reach Pixar level heights, but at the very least the execution can’t distract from the story. There will be people who can look past it, but if you want to pull back in the people who grew disaffected with old telltale then you have to seek to impress, and that includes the presentation.
Finally to reiterate a point I already made: adapt. Keep adapting. Never stop pushing the envelope in what you can do. Take risks. Don’t stagnate the formula. Seek to blow away expectations in any way that you can. Once upon a time Telltale was known as a pioneer in video game storytelling. To be a pioneer you have to break the mold, and if new Telltale wants to regain that glory that is exactly what they have to do.
What about you? What do you think should and should not do to carry on this legacy?
Thank you for reading and take care 🙂