Telltale Games has a new future after LCG Entertainment completed the acquisition of the studio, but plans to relaunch have been publicly criticised.

LCG has completed the acquisition of Telltale Games, including some of the brand’s assets and IP rights. LCG plans to relaunch the studio, which collapsed in September 2018 leading to 270 staff losing their jobs overnight.

The takeover has been far from smooth from a PR perspective. Polygon reported that new co-head of Telltale, Jamie Ottilie said, “It’s unfortunate the way that [Telltale] ended. Certainly we’re working very hard not to make similar mistakes.”

However, it was Ottilie’s comments about staff positions for former Telltale staff that drew the most criticism: “some workers from the original Telltale Games will be offered freelance roles, with full-time positions possible in the future.”

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier responded by writing a scathing criticism of Ottilie’s comments, especially regarding the sudden dismissals that former Telltale staff experienced.

Schreier also took to Twitter, writing, “the reality is that some people who didn’t actually work at Telltale Games have bought the rights to a name. Brands don’t make video games.”

Meanwhile, indie developer Rami Ismail wrote, “Please remember a brand is not a studio, and a trademark is not the people that made games.”

Other commentators across Twitter have criticised the company’s plans to hire freelancers as being exploitative, given the fewer rights such workers have.

The original Telltale Games was damaged by poor management decisions that ultimately led to the developer’s decline.

The status of the studio’s licences for Tales From The Borderlands, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, and Minecraft: Story Mode are currently unknown. However, Telltale Games is set to retain the rights to some IPs, including The Wolf Among Us, and Batman – The Telltale Series.

To Polygon, Ottilie expressed his belief that Telltale-style games have a future in the gaming industry. He added LCG’s acquisition and relaunch will bring more success than previously achieved:

“This is a viable business that went away due to market conditions and some scale choices [Telltale’s previous management] made, I like games that tell stories and I think our industry should have a company that specialises in narrative-driven games.”

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Steve Carman
Steve's two passions are journalism and gaming, and he enjoys playing Indies, RPG, and Action/Adventure games on PC and consoles. He can also often be found sharing his views on the industry @stevecgames.

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