The Walking Dead may have surprised gamers and fans alike when it first arrived, but enough time has passed for all to recognize that it is deserving of the praise its received. So now that Telltale Games has spread its zombified tendrils across the major consoles, and now iOS, the future of the property is just about guaranteed.
With an announced 8.5 million episodes of The Walking Dead sold so far, Season Two isn’t just being planned by the studio, but the team is hard at work finding a way to carry saved game decisions from one season to the next. In case any of you players had just started to breathe freely again.
The seemingly unstoppable momentum the episodic series enjoyed through November and December was anything but a shock to us, having named it our second favorite game of 2012. Offering up the first episode for free is a sure-fire way to gain support and interest, and apparently the charity has paid off in spades.
In an interview with WSJ, Telltale CEO Dan Connors gave specific numbers on the episodes sold, with mobile platforms making up a sizable chunk:
“To date, it’s sold 8.5 million episodes and it’s been in the marketplace for seven months. November and December were our biggest months. It was the culmination of the product, the game of the year awards, the retail push, and it still has a ton of head room in it.
“The episodic model has allowed us to create an economy that works on mobile. As far as size, at this point it’s probably about 25% of the revenue of the product and it is on the largest upswing of all platforms as well. I think we see with iOS products, we see more impact from when the show is on, when there’s stress about the show. When there’s Christmas or mass market events, that drives iOS sales too.”
Success of that magnitude is the kind franchises are made of, and Telltale has made no secret of the fact that they’ve got long-term plans for The Walking Dead property, provided they can continue the deal. We won’t spoil the first season, but anyone who played through it knows that the second season could go just about anywhere.
That being said, lead writer Sean Vanaman and the rest of the writing team are obviously in no rush to cast aside all player investment from the first five episodes. Painful decisions, while all leading to essentially the same ending, had impacts that weren’t fully explored.
Connors explained to RedBull (yes, Redbull) that they’re working on a solution at this very moment:
“Right now we are just starting to form the concept for season two…This all remains to be seen but we are definitely figuring out how to carry the saves over.”
It’s too early to tell exactly what Telltale will end up embracing as the connecting factors between Season One and Two, but even the fact that they’re trying is cause for excitement. The outlook has never been better for Telltale Games, so whether their next big project is a continuation of The Walking Dead, or a chance to expand the fiction of both Star Wars and Halo – both examples provided by Connor as being on their wishlist – they’ve got plenty of people in their corner. Ourselves included.
The Walking Dead is available now for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 in retail form. And is also available (in downloadable form) on the XBLA, PSN, iOS, Mac, and Android.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.