Telltale, Inc.

Moby ID: 6239

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Telltale, founded in October 2004, was a game studio based in San Rafael, USA. It was led by a trio of ex-LucasArts employees: Dan Connors, CEO and former producer/director at LucasArts; Kevin Bruner, Chief Technology Officer who helped develop the engines for many prominent LucasArts titles; and Troy Molander, former director of the LucasArts Technical Art Department.

The studio developed games based on existing intellectual properties except for their first game. The core focus was adventure games, initially only for the PC, but later also for the Xbox 360 and the Wii. The first release was the casual poker game Telltale Texas Hold'em (2005). Next, they created the two episodes in the Bone series, adapted from Jeff Smith's comics: Bone: Out from Boneville (2005) and Bone: The Great Cow Race (2006). Both games were made available as digital downloads and physical copies. Although more episodes were originally planned, no new ones were eventually released. Through the learning process Telltale also updated the second episode's interface and engine, and released an updated version for the first episode. In between, they did the 4th and 5th CSI game: 3 Dimensions of Murder (Windows - 2006, PS2 - 2007) and Hard Evidence (Windows, Xbox 360 - 2007). Telltale also took on an advisory role for Ankh (2006).

Between October 2006 and April 2007 the company released Sam & Max: Season One, a series of episodic games based on Steve Purcell's Sam & Max comics. Season 1 consists of six games and part of the development was funded by digital content distributor GameTap, granting the company to offer the episodes through its website prior to a global release (usually for about two weeks). In November 2007 a second season of five episodes was started. It ran until April 2008. Both series can also be ordered as a physical copy directly from the site and there was a retail release of the seasons in selected regions.

Before the last episode was released, the company announced a new series of five games, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, based on the online Homestar Runner body of work. The first episode, Homestar Ruiner, was released in August 2008. Next to the PC version, it was also the company's first Wii game and was offered through Nintendo's WiiWare service.

In March 2009 the studio released the first episode in a new series: Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures, based on the characters from a series of British animated short films.

On 1st June 2009, yet another series was announced: Tales of Monkey Island, based on the long-running Monkey Island series from LucasArts.

Having become an icon of the adventure scene, Telltale also sold digital download versions of other adventures through their online shop. The company was known for releasing its games in different episodes, a practice CEO Dan Connors referred to as "license incubation" to build up and tweak a franchise step by step.

Telltale was shut down in 2018 after filing for bankruptcy; its brand ended up acquired by LCG Entertainment, Inc.. Some titles have been since then reissued by the new Telltale, such as The Wolf Among Us and Puzzle Agent. Others became the property of separate entities, such as Skunkape for Sam & Max and Skybound for The Walking Dead. LCG revived Telltale Games as a brand and a first entirely new game The Expanse: A Telltale Series was released in August 2023.

Credited on 122 Games from 2005 to 2021

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Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space (2021 on Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch...)
Sam & Max: Save the World (2020 on Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch...)
RGX: Showdown (2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
The Walking Dead: The Final Season (2018 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
The Walking Dead Collection (2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
The Telltale Mega Collection (2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
The Minecraft: Story Mode Bundle (2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
The Telltale Batman Bundle (2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Batman: The Telltale Series - The Enemy Within (2017 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Batman: The Telltale Series - The Enemy Within: Episode 1 - The Enigma (2017 on iPhone, Android, iPad...)
Batman: The Telltale Series - The Enemy Within: Season Pass (2017 on PlayStation 4)
Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two (2017 on Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4...)
Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: Episode 1 - Hero in Residence (2017 on Xbox 360, iPhone, Android...)
Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: Season Pass (2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series (2017 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue (2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - Season Pass (2017 on PlayStation 4)
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (2016 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 1: Ties That Bind Part One (2016 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android...)
Batman: The Telltale Series - Season Pass (2016 on PlayStation 3)

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History +

September 21, 2018

Telltale announces a "majority studio closure", laying off approximately 90% of its employees.

June 2010

Telltale announced that they had secured licenses with NBC Universal to develop two game series based on Back to the Future and Jurassic Park.

May 5, 2010

Telltale created a pilot program, that explored other gameplay and storytelling that could eventually be incorporated into their episodic games.

August 2006

After two episodes in the Bone series, the company announces to temporarily put the remaining episodes on hold until the first six-game season of the Sam & Max episodic series has been completed.

September 2005

The company acquires the rights to work on a Sam & Max title. The original creator Steve Purcell, now working for Pixar, will also be involved. The rights were picked up as LucasArts cancelled the game Sam & Max: Freelance Police in 2004.

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Trivia +

In an interview, Dan Connors said that the fan reaction to the cancellation of Sam & Max: Freelance Police by LucasArts in 2004 played a big part in helping the team to make the decision to start their own company.

On Mar 02, 2006 Telltale Games was selected as a nominee for the Game Developer Choice awards, Best New Studio category during the Game Developers Conference.

Awards

  • The Game Awards
    • 2014 — Developer of the Year — Nominated

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Related Web Sites +

  • Telltale, Inc.
    official site
  • A Visit to Telltale Games
    Information about the company, as well as the episodic <moby game="Sam & Max">Sam & Max</moby> series, in the Wired Game|Life section.
  • Appletell returns to Monkey Island
    An interview between the Mac oriented news site Appletell, Telltale's CEO and founder Dan Connors, and designer/programmer Mark Darin, about the development and release of the company's games on the Macintosh platform, particularly regarding <em>Tales of Monkey Island</em>. The interview is presented both as a textual transcription and as a more extensive YouTube video (Feb. 11th, 2010).
  • Telltale Games Tells All
    An exclusive interview between Mac oriented podcast iGame Radio and Telltale Games' Matt Darin, Will Armstrong, and Chris Schmidt about the decision to port its library to the Macintosh platform and the porting process itself. As <em>Tales of Monkey Island</em> was the only series ported at the time of the interview, particular focus is payed to it (Feb. 13th, 2010).

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