The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Jurassic Park – TellTale has made its name working on licensed properties. What will the independent team with the creative freedom to do anything?
TellTale is putting “a lot of energy” into an original IP, the company has said.
The news comes via a Gamasutra report on the exit for former CEO Dan Connors, who is stepping down to allow his fellow co-founder and CTO Kevin Bruner to take the reins.
This isn’t TellTale’s first IP; its very first release, TellTale Texas Hold’Em, used original characters. (Arguably it has two more original IP to its name, Hector: Badge of Carnage and Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent, but in both cases TellTale acted as publisher, not developer. I’d also say that Poker Night, with its use of licensed characters, is a licensed game – or iteration on the TellTale Texas Hold’Em IP.)
That said, the developer has definitely build its current fan base with licensed projects, and for many fans this will be the first time they see what the TellTale team can do with a free hand.
While it had success with Back to the Future and Jurassic Park, it was really The Walking Dead that catapulted TellTale into the limelight. The indie went on to score Fables, Game of Thrones and Borderlands licenses. Its future projects include Minecraft, which seems much more feasible to me after playing Tales from the Borderlands.
TellTale has grown to employ 240 staff, allowing it to have multiple products on the go at once, and hopes to continue growing. In the Gamasutra article linked above, Connors and Bruner said the rapid expansion hasn’t been easy, but that they hope some management changes will help them nurture their celebrated talent moving forwards.