When Telltale Games first announced development on a new IP earlier this year, fans were excited. They felt that The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us developer had earned enough clout working with established IPs that Telltale deserved a shot at delivering something original. However, we never expected that their new IP would be something this revolutionary and ambitious.
Earlier today, film studio Lionsgate (The Hunger Games) announced a partnership with Telltale Games on a “super show” that will transcend the boundaries of interactive entertainment. This “new IP” will encompass both game and TV show, with narrative threads drawn between both.
While details regarding this new IP are still under wraps, we do know that Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer will be joining Telltale Games’ Board of Directors along with, strangely, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitello. At the same time, Lionsgate has reportedly made a “significant investment” in the Game of Thrones developer.
"A 'Super Show' episode combines one part of interactive playable content with one part of scripted television style content. 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. Developing both aspects simultaneously is key to utilizing this new medium. Both parts are first-class citizens during the writing and design process. It's not an interactive series with a show, or a TV show with a game, but a story integrated in a way that only Telltale can do. For us it's a very natural evolution of the interactive storytelling expertise we've pioneered."
So, although the focus for now is on this new IP/super show, Lionsgate and Telltale reportedly plan on developing more new games in the future, in addition to adapting existing properties. It seems practically a given that Telltale will adapt Lionsgate properties, most especially The Hunger Games, but the two studios have nothing to announce yet. That being said, the prospect of going through one of the earlier Hunger Games events could make for an exciting interactive experience.
Hopefully Lionsgate and Telltale have learned a thing or two from companies that have tried to combine game and TV show in the past. There was the SyFy series Defiance, which is still ongoing but the MMO component recently went free-to-play; the Halo TV series that is in some sort of development limbo; and Remedy Entertainment’s Quantum Break, which we still don’t know what to make of. Needless to say, creating a unified universe across several different media can be tricky, and requires full dedication from fans.
But, if anyone can do it it’s Telltale. Their games are more interactive TV shows than games anyway, and their storytelling skills are unrivaled in the video game space. And now with a sizeable backing from Lionsgate, they should have the resources to expand to bigger and better ideas.
How do you feel about Telltale Games partnering with Lionsgate? What are your hopes for this “super show?”