Recently Telltale Games shocked the gaming world on the 22nd September 2018 when they announced their closure and cancelling of all future projects. This occurred whilst still in the middle of three major projects, which included the final two episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, Batman: The Enemy Within and highly anticipated release of The Wolf Among Us Season 2 later this year. This news followed recently mixed game reviews, former Telltale CEO, Kevin Bruner resigning in 2017 amongst shocking allegations about years of toxic management and later on with the company laying off a quarter of its staff.
Despite the grim outlook, Skybound Games, a new studio founded by The Walking Dead creator, Robert Kirkman, announced their lead to complete Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season. As fans rejoiced, a Reddit AMA with Skybound Games CEO, Ian Howe revealed plans to work with the members of the Telltale development team on the project. Even going as far as to saying “the plan is for it to be staffed 100% by former Telltale staff, the only time we’d look elsewhere is if we can’t fill a particular role from former Telltale people”. When asked, Howe said he “fully (expects) Episode 3 to be this year” and would be “disappointed if (they) can’t make it happen.”
The story itself will not be changed, and Clementine’s narrative will conclude as meant to. Howe describes “the process of developing the narrative isn’t changing, (as) there is long standing collaboration between writers and Skybound over story approval and all the same people will still be involved.”
This deal may even lead to a potential future The Walking Dead DLC or Telltale-style games produced by Skybound. Howe says that the company will “look at all other possibilities… (on) how (they) can tell interesting stories in games” and have been “spending a lot of time at the moment looking at new technologies and how that can allow (them) to deliver strong narrative based games.”
Will Skybound Games reach the highs of Telltale games without being afflicted by the chronic crunch culture and toxic management? Are you excited to see the series and its finale?