Telltale delays the Wolf Among Us 2 till at least next year, because if it's half-baked 'we're going to get torn to shreds'

bigby wolf smoking in the wolf among us 2
(Image credit: Telltale Games)

In news that possibly everyone saw coming, The Wolf Among Us 2 has been delayed beyond this year. In a post to Twitter yesterday evening, the newly-revived (minus most of its original staff) Telltale Games announced that it had "made the difficult decision to delay The Wolf Among Us 2 out of 2023". But given that it's been nearly a decade since the last episode of the first series released, I can probably stand to wait a little longer.

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Telltale says the delay is about "protecting the health of [its] team," and in a chat with IGN, studio boss Jamie Ottilie said it was about avoiding crunch. "Burning people out or grinding them down is the wrong thing to do long-term," said Ottilie, "As an industry, if we're going to continue to grow, we have to stop it. We just have to stop doing it and make better choices". The only alternative to either delaying the game or crunching would have been shipping an unfinished game, which the studio apparently refuses to do. "If we put this game out and it's not ready, we're going to get torn to shreds," said Ottilie.

The Wolf Among Us 2 was announced early in its development cycle in 2019, while Telltale was still staffing up for full production, and it's been hindered by all the stuff you'd expect: Covid-19 and the tight labour market that followed it, but it's also been impacted by a decision to switch the game from Unreal Engine 4 to 5. Ottilie says the change has been worth it, but it's meant redoing work that was already done for the UE4 version of the game.

It's not surprising that this new Telltale would be sensitive to crunch. The original studio was notorious for it, with staff working 80-hour weeks that the company's co-founder defended as a necessary practice. "We tried to create an environment where you really had to [crunch] to survive at Telltale," Kevin Bruner, the original Telltale's co-founder, said in 2019. Given that this was almost certainly a terrible experience for its staff and the company eventually folded anyway, it's hardly a surprise that nu-Telltale is trying to adopt a more measured pace.

There's no word on when The Wolf Among Us 2 has been delayed to, unfortunately, but I hold out hope it's only been postponed to early(ish) next year. The original Wolf Among Us series was, alongside The Walking Dead, one of original Telltale's more notable successes, and PCG's Tyler Wilde praised it for its "ethical challenges, and the quality of the characters and writing" in his The Wolf Among Us review back in 2014. Until we get more news, I guess I'll just keep rewatching that Wolf Among Us 2 trailer we got last year. It might have to tide us over for some time to come.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.