Telltale Games is (at least on paper) returning to business, as reported earlier today by Polygon. Holding company LCG Entertainment (run by industry veterans Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle) have bought up the studio name and some of their licensed properties after Telltale's messy closure last September left hundreds of staff displaced. Effectively a new studio with new management operating under an old name, the new Telltale will be based in Malibu, California, with plans to "stay small over the next six months".
The immediately good news is that according to an interview with Polygon, the new Telltale has rights to a handful of their better games, including The Wolf Among Us and Batman. In-house properties like Puzzle Agent are looking good, too. With a little luck, this means they'll be returning some of their games to sale before long, as they were de-listed from digital stores earlier this year. There's the possibility of more to come, as Ottilie says "There are some other expired licenses that we’re looking at".
Some of Telltale's licenses have been snapped up by other companies or reverted to their original owners. Netflix are back in full control of the Stranger Things brand, effectively putting one final nail in that project's coffin. Skybound have also taken over Telltale's The Walking Dead series, including hiring some of the original crew to finish the final episodes, which launched earlier this year. There's still no word on Tales From The Borderlands, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Minecraft: Story Mode, but hopefully they'll be able to work out deals to get those back on virtual shelves soon.
Telltale's future as a studio producing new games is a little less sure. LCG/Telltale plan to offer freelance roles to some former Telltale employees with the possibility of full-time work in the future. While I wouldn't go pinning hopes on another season of Sam & Max adventures any time soon, publisher Athlon Games are a partner in this deal, and former Telltale developer Emily Grace Buck mentioned on Twitter that she has heard from "more Telltale people that they have indeed been brought on."
While they don't have much experience in adventure games, the new studio heads do at least have industry experience. Ottilie was CEO of Galaxy Pest Control, the studio behind licensed games using the Duck Dynasty and Power Rangers brands. Waddle is a former Havok game engine marketing exec. I remain dubious if much will come of this beyond re-releasing some of Telltale's back catalogue, but I'm hoping that they can untangle enough red tape to re-release Telltale's Wallace & Gromit adventure series.