What’s Next from Telltale?

Originally published on Trevor Trove on March 22, 2016

During the SXSW “Batman: Telltale Unmasked” panel last week, preliminary details of their highly-anticipated Batman game were revealed. Amongst the Batmannews, CEO Kevin Bruner also mentioned that Telltale has grown to the point where they’re “built right now where we can do about four of these things at the same time” with “about 350 people now.” This led to some brief speculation about what has been announced versus what else they might be working on behind the scenes. Here’s what I imagine the offices are filled with right now:

  1. Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 5 will hit next week on March 29th and while that initially was thought to be the end of it, they announced today that they would be producing three more “post-season” episodes. So this one is still firmly in the “In Progress Camp” and not about to make way for a new project to ramp up.
  2. The Walking Dead: Michonne / The Walking Dead Season 3 – There are still two more episodes of this miniseries coming presumeably in the next couple months. And Bruner revealed in an interview today that Season 3 is on track to debut in 2016. So I would imagine the team working on Michonne will simply transition into that slot once the series wraps.
  3. Batman – As discussed at the SXSW panel, the Batman team is comprised of a lot of the people who worked on Tales from the Borderlands. Expected to debut this summer, they revealed an image of a hefty Episode 1 script with a draft date of March 1. Given the typical production schedule of an episode every couple months, it would track that Batman carries into 2017 and the team behind it would eventually transition its superhero pedigree into the Marvel project next year.
  4. Game of Thrones? – Already confirmed to be getting a Season Two, I would suspect Telltale’s HBO partnership comes back to the forefront with an E3 teaser (a la Michonne last year) and holiday release alongside The Walking Dead Season 3 (a la the dueling Tales from the Borderlands / Game of Thrones season launches of Holiday 2014).

As much as fans might be clamoring for second seasons of The Wolf Among Us or the critically-acclaimed Tales from the Borderlands, I think these four projects make the most business sense for the company right now. Perhaps The Wolf Among Us Season Two becomes a passion project for the Minecraft team once that wraps up later this year? And I imagine preliminary conversations are already ongoing with Gearbox to time a second season of Tales from the Borderlands in anticipation of Borderlands 3. It wouldn’t surprise me if we got Tales from the Borderlands Season Two next year leading up to Borderlands 3 late 2017/early 2018.

As for what I’m excited about, Batman is really the only thing in their current confirmed docket that interests me but it’ll be a feat to get me to play the episodes as they launch. Having attempted both Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands episodically for the first two episodes, the binge-playing methodology of waiting until the full season is out is definitely the way to go for me so I might wind up taking the whole year off from Telltale. Minecraft and Walking Dead don’t interest me and even if I were to abandon the binge model, Game of Thrones didn’t really wow me so I’ll probably just stick to the books and TV show and maaaybe pick up Season Two a year and a half from now on a PlayStation flash sale or something.

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