Previously On Tales Of Monkey Island…

By John Walker on November 26th, 2009 at 12:01 am.

Sexy.

Here’s my theory for how Telltale works out their pricing structures for their episodic adventures: They get a big wheel, almost as big as the one on Wheel Of Fortune, and they label each segment with things like, “$8.95 a month” or “$34.95 for the whole season only”, or “Sell the first four chapters individually, then at the last moment change it so you have to buy all five to get the last chapter, then realise that’s insane.” When first launched the new Tales of Monkey Island adventures had landed on the second choice, somewhat questioning the purpose of episodes. Fortunately a month or so later someone at the company must have given the wheel a nudge, clicking it over to the first option, with all five episodes now available individually from Telltale’s site (but not on Steam). With the final episode five coming out on the 8th December anything could happen with that crazy wheel. But whichever way it goes this time, they’ve put together a fun trailer reminding people of the story so far, in case people lost track over the last five months. Do I really need to point out it therefore contains spoilers? No? Good.

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19 Comments »

  1. Psychopomp says:

    Picture’s a spoiler :(

    • Hulk Hogan says:

      The spoiler being the big reveal that Guybrush was a FAS baby apparently.

  2. Rick says:

    A much better trailer than their first one. Its been a decent run with this series; its had its faults, but overall it has been fun. Certainly been Telltale’s best work so far.

    I do rather hope that we have some sort of conclusive end though. The Monkey Island series should stop at five games, otherwise it becomes in serious risk of losing any originality it might have had.

  3. Jeffthewonderbadger says:

    You’re a spoiler :(

  4. A-Scale says:

    I’d love to still be able to support Telltale. They were literally my favorite company before the Strongbad change-from-episodic-pay-to-full-season-payment episode. After that I feel totally burned, and once toasted twice shy. They won’t see another dime out of me. A shame indeed.

  5. Marmaduke says:

    I recently learned that one of my coworkers, who isn’t a gamer anymore, used to be an adventure game nut, loved Lucasarts games and hated the King’s Quest series. Ah, a man after me own heart. My respect for him has skyrocketed.

    I feel sort of the same about Telltale. Under their direction, Monkey Island hasn’t experienced a grand and wonderful rebirth in the 21st century, but they’ve treated the license well. I hope they make more games based on original IPs and spread their wings a little bit, trying to live up to the Monkey Island, Sam & Max and (oddly) Wallace and Gromit names might actually be stifling their potential.

  6. Macq says:

    So what is the purpose of this news?

  7. bildo says:

    : / a spoiler from RPS. This is a sad day : (

  8. dingo says:

    I’m torn about the series. As a huge Lucasfilm / LucasArts fan I pre-ordered the series from Telltale even before the first episode was out.
    I like the fact that I managed to play through all episodes without using any help besides for one puzzle. I also love the introduction of Murray and Stan in the last 2 episodes (the one with Murray was hands down the best episode so far).

    On the other hand I don’t laugh much when playing since the humor is varying wildly.
    They absolutely nailed Episode 3 but I fear they might have used all they had in it since episode 4 was far less funny even with Stan included and the cliffhanger was just stupid although it caught me unexpected.

    Not sure they should proceed with a 2nd series since I fear they might not have enough capacity to carry another series. Might be better to let Monkey Island RIP.

  9. Ginger Yellow says:

    I’ve been really impressed with the last two episodes. The third one in particular was the best adventure I’ve played in ages outside of the Zombie Cow games. They finally seem to have pitched the puzzle difficulty/obscurity just right – not stupidly simple as in Strong Bad, but intuitive enough that you’re never really tempted to cheat.

  10. jalf says:

    Their pricing seems pretty straightforward to me:

    To begin with, you try to get people to buy the entire season, because that’s best for Telltale.
    As time passes, you become more and more flexible, ultimately allowing people to pick which chapters to buy.

    I’m sure some will scream and rage at this obvious money-grabbing scheme, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s just business. There’s no law that all pricing options have to be available from day one.

    I’d love to still be able to support Telltale

    Ah, what you actually mean is “I love to not support Telltale”.
    Since your actual argument is that “they once did something I disliked, so now I refuse to support them even though they no longer do that thing which I disliked”.

    • A-Scale says:

      “It’s business” is an excuse for a monolithic company that dominates by virtue of its size. Telltale is a small, niche gaming company that relies heavily on the love of its dedicated customers. Pissing off your small, dedicated fanbase is not a good idea.

      “Ah, what you actually mean is “I love to not support Telltale”.
      Since your actual argument is that “they once did something I disliked, so now I refuse to support them even though they no longer do that thing which I disliked”.”

      I take it you’re human, right? You’ve never had an experience where someone offended you in a way that made you want to avoid them, even if they stop doing that thing you hate (but don’t apologize)? In what way is this strange to you?

      Forcing people to pay for the entire season up front is decidedly BAD business because it discourages semi-interested people from trying out the series because they are unsure that their 35 dollar investment will be worth it. Lower entry costs always encourage more buyers. Further, it encourages Telltale to try less hard on the latter games in the series, because they know full well that most of their buyers are already locked in. You might counter that they will work equally hard on all episodes because they want to encourage sales for their next series, but that just begs the question of why they don’t permit people to buy individual episodes for the same reason.

      Further, you’ve entirely misunderstood the situation. The Strongbad series was available episodically UNTIL the very last episode, at which time they forced you to buy the entire series. I bought 3 of the first 4 episodes at $8 each, and I intended to buy the fifth for $8 as well, for a total cost of $32. Instea,d thanks to their unannounced switch to the buy-as-a-series model, I was going to have to pay more to get the last episode than I would have to buy the entire season from the outset. Punishing people for ONLY buying 4 of your 5 episodes isn’t a good way to build consumer loyalty. What made the situation more insulting was how little thought went into the process. Many people who did what I did were left out in the cold, but they only considered that people who bought some on the Wii and some on PC would be left out; a decidedly small group. It was a brash, stupid move and it pissed a lot of people off.

      In any case, you claim that Telltale moves from season pass to selling individual episodes at the end of the series doesn’t match with the facts of the matter (strongbad going the opposite direction), and the fact that they are doing so on the Monkey Island series might well be understood as realizing that selling them by the season is simply less profitable.

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      “Forcing people to pay for the entire season up front is decidedly BAD business because it discourages semi-interested people from trying out the series because they are unsure that their 35 dollar investment will be worth it. ”

      Well, they do have a habit of giving entire episodes away for free.

  11. Cutman says:

    Is it wrong that I think she’s even hotter with that green skin?

  12. Masked Dave says:

    I think the whole-season-option makes the most sense. It means every time you open Steam you see the full list sitting waiting for it to become “available for download”.

  13. Bhazor says:

    Gah, I still can’t get used to the new Guybrush. He looks too handsome and heroic when he should be gangly and adorable. Marley looks hot though.