Telltale and Lionsgate Team Up For New "Super Show" Game Format

Telltale and Lionsgate Team Up For New "Super Show" Game Format

wolf among us episode 5-3

Reported $40 million dollar deal will also see Telltale create its first original IP in nearly a decade.

Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The Wolf Among Us) has long been lauded as one of the best developers around when it comes to creating games with compelling stories and deep narrative. Hollywood has finally taken notice of the studio's trend, as Lionsgate (Orange is the New Black, The Hunger Games franchise) is teaming up with Telltale -- reportedly to the tune of $40 million.

The partnership, according to EW, will see the duo produce a new genre of game, called a "Super Show."

"A 'Super Show' episode combines one part of interactive playable content with one part of scripted television style content," said Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner. "Both pieces, when combined together, are what make an actual Super Show 'episode.' As we've been developing the series, we're using both mediums in concert to deliver our story."

From the sound of it, this new Super Show formula is similar to the episodic format used by Telltale in its past titles, but with live-action scenes spliced in at appropriate moments. Bruner stresses that both components are "...first class citizens during the writing and design process." The Super Show format will still rely on an season-based episodic release schedule.

The first project under the Lionsgate partnership will be an original IP, but the Super Show format will be used on licensed IP down the road as well. (How cool would it be to see a Telltale season of The Walking Dead in such a format? Or Tales from the Borderlands?) But Bruner said Telltale's current episodic "interactive drama" format won't be going away, either.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Permalink

Sounds interesting and I'll definitely keep an eye out for it, but I really hope that they don't mess with the established formula too much. And I don't think they'll be able to retrofit their other licensed series (aside from maybe wolf among us, borderlands, and the upcoming Minecraft game) because the Walking Dead tv rights are already owned by AMC and HBO owns the rights to both the game and the show for Game of Thrones, so I doubt that either of them would be working with a competitor to make these games.

Colour me cautiously optimistic, I guess?

Um, Telltale. You're scaring me. I defended you! I said your stories were games, and not just interactive movies! How could you betray me!

Alright, I concede, this is the point where a game becomes "too cinematic." When it actually does become an interactive movie. Live action sequences? Are they high? I've liked Telltale and their interactive style up until now, but this is obscene. I liked their content because it used to be a nicely paced, self contained narrative with a lot of thought put into it. At least, the first Walking Dead season was. And Borderlands was funny. But this? It reeks, and I really hate it. Now it's just becoming a glorified television franchise producer, which is the medium I hate the most out of all the forms of entertainment. Hey, Hollywood? Television? Keep your shitty television franchise formula out of my games.

The future of Telltale, I guess:

Interesting concept, but not too optimistic about how it will be implemented. They're already waaaaay behind schedule on "Tales from the Borderlands," can't see a project like this improving their production schedule.

It kind've sounds like they're trying to beat Remedy to the punch on "Quantum Break", frankly.

Beyond that, it's difficult to tell if the results are likely to be good, bad, or indifferent. More money towards production values could help... but only if the live-action team takes their job seriously, rather than assuming anything tied to a video game can be phoned in.

And it's hard not to share the feeling that TellTale is taking on an awful lot of projects for a relatively small company that already has a lot of irons in the fire.

Telltale I draw the line at live action. What you're doing so far is great, don't overextend yourself at those meetings with fancy corporations and drop dead at one of their coke parties.

Otherwise, unless the live action is rotoscoped or the game portions hit the point of disturbing uncanny valley I can't see this working. It would be like watching a movie and then without explanation it becomes an animated japanese water colour painting every other scene. People would just stop watching it.

DaxStrife:
Interesting concept, but not too optimistic about how it will be implemented. They're already waaaaay behind schedule on "Tales from the Borderlands," can't see a project like this improving their production schedule.

When are they not behind schedule? There's a reason I won't buy a game till all the episodes are out.

Color me cautiously optimistic about the idea. I'm always down for some medium amalgamation, and while this will definitely make the tiresome "what is/isn't a videogame" debate that much more heated, at least it's an experiment at the AAA level, and lord knows I thought those were extinct.

Really? Telltale's new, innovative improvement that will change the face of the industry is FMV? A technology that spawned multiple terrible games until it died a horrible, painful death in the late 90s?

What even IS the games industry??? Even studios that seem to be moving the industry forward end up falling back on ideas from twenty years ago to make their game "innovative"! What's next, are we going to have a new FPS where the "innovative" mechanic is picking up items that allow you to regenerate health faster?

I never thought FMV would actually come back into style. I mean, I remember thinking it was pretty awesome back when I played things like Star Wars: Dark Forces II or Wing Commander as a kid, but I figured we had moved on by now? Was Tex Murphy just that successful?

uncanny474:
Really? Telltale's new, innovative improvement that will change the face of the industry is FMV? A technology that spawned multiple terrible games until it died a horrible, painful death in the late 90s?

What even IS the games industry??? Even studios that seem to be moving the industry forward end up falling back on ideas from twenty years ago to make their game "innovative"! What's next, are we going to have a new FPS where the "innovative" mechanic is picking up items that allow you to regenerate health faster?

Yahtzee does like to say that the games industry has a disturbing tendency to forget about the past and make the same mistakes all over again.

This has disaster written all over it. They're straight up going to do an FMV game. And it seems like they bypassed the need to chuck the pile of shit they call an engine into the garbage, once more.

I love Telltale, I really do. Their games (interactive experiences if you will) are right up my alley, with their emphasis on narrative and divergent paths (even if only superficially divergent), but I'm skeptical here. I always found transitions from live action to animation to be extremely jarring and mostly useful for comedic effect. Compound this with the divide created between the existence of player agency in the game parts to its suppression in the video parts and I predict a rather sharp shift whenever the transition is to be made. I'm afraid it'll either feel like a Telltale game with some video cutscenes tacked on or a video series with a bits of a Telltale game shoddily attached.

That's my main problem with the concept but getting down to the finer points of it, I wonder just what kind of quality will the video parts show. FMVs of old were clearly low-rent and even when they secured relatively big names to star in them they always put in clearly phoned in performances. Sure, we've come a long way and now the video games industry is an entertainment behemoth that stands tall among other entertainment media but will that translate to a polished work with skilled, motivated actors or will old prejudices/budget constraints mean we'll be getting "cheesy cutscene" levels of work here? On the other hand, with all these projects Telltale is embarking on there is no question in my mind that there will be delays, significant ones even, which is already a nuisance when they work by themselves but can strain a working relationship when they partner with another studio.

That being said, with pretty much every PC being capable of playing high resolution video and size constraints for games becoming a thing of the past, now is a good time as any to dust off and spruce up the ol' FMV game format. We can rebuild them, we have the technology. We can make them better, stronger, faster. The question is: is it worth it? And is the already spread way too thin Telltale in a position to take up the challenge? I have my doubts.

Oh, hey! I loved the 90's too, Telltale!

Let's do this!

Sarcasm!

I did love that game though...

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here