After teasing an announcement on Twitter yesterday, this morning saw Telltale Games spill the beans that they're working on an adventure game based in the world of Minecraft. Titled Minecraft: Story Mode, the new episodic game looks set to follow on from Tales From the Borderlands as another humorous take on a hugely popular video game franchise.
This news comes at the end of Telltale's tenth anniversary year, which has seen the studio round off well-received seasons of The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead while also launching new series in Tales From the Borderlands and Game of Thrones. Those two seasons will be completed in 2015, presumably ahead of the premiere of Story Mode which also begins next year.
While its title might suggest otherwise, Telltale's new project will not be an add-on to the hugely popular block-building game — it's a standalone episodic series in the vein of the studio's other output. Telltale promises an original story that will 'mix new characters with familiar themes' for Minecraft's first real step towards a conventional narrative.
From yesterday's teasing tweets to the twin press releases that both companies circulated today, it's being stressed that Story Mode is a collaboration between two developers that are huge fans of one another. We've seen how successful Telltale can be when they work on another developer's IP that speaks to them — and based on how the game was announced, there's a lot of creativity in store here.
Rather than a traditional reveal trailer, Story Mode was unveiled by a short Telltale-style conversation game called Info Quest II — which is available for you to play on the Mojang web site. It seems that Mojang, rather than Telltale were behind the snippet, but it might just give us an idea of the light-hearted comedic tone that Telltale's project is aiming for.
Unlike recent output like Tales From the Borderlands and Game of Thrones, it seems likely that Telltale will target their Minecraft project to the younger audiences that make up a huge swathe of the game's fan base. That's not to say that it will be a 'kid's game', but perhaps don't expect the same level of violence and coarse language that we've seen in other Telltale releases.
Also of note from this announcement is that the game is scheduled to release on PlayStation consoles, despite Mojang being purchased by Microsoft earlier this year. It's difficult to discern what this means for the franchise; either plans for this title have been in the works since before the purchase of Mojang, or it's confirmation that the Minecraft series is indeed to big for Xbox console exclusivity.
The first episode of Minecraft: Story Mode is set for 2015, and is set to release on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, iOS, Mobile and PC.