Behind The Bad (People At Telltale)
To conclude our Pulitzer Prize nominated coverage* of the war that has broken out between Telltale and made up company Videlectrix (made up of moustachioed geniuses, that is), below is our interview with the CEO of Telltale, Dan Connors, in which we grill him about the controversy in a way that makes other games journalists look like the frightened, corporate-bought cowards they truly are. But before that, learn more about the torrid situation with the third and final part of Behind The Bad - the behind-the-scenes exposé of life at Telltale working with Strong Bad.
To catch up, Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here.
Here is our hard-hitting exclusive interview with Telltale boss, Dan Connors, in response to when we spoke to Videlectrix last week.
RPS: Let’s get right down to it. The internet is on fire with the apparent falling out between Telltale and Videlectrix. Could you explain the current situation for our readers?
Dan Connors: Well, it was written expressly in the contract, "Videlectrix shall not participate in the creation of the product, nor should they make contact with Telltale or come within 5 miles of the Telltale offices." They are also not allowed to send any pictures of themselves to our offices. So we were shocked when not only some floppy disks with game code went missing from our offices, but also a disk that contained all of our PowerPoint slides describing our "sodic" model. Obviously they used those slides as the cornerstone for their brilliant roomasodic model.
RPS: Presumably you’ve played Videlectrix’s first Roomisode using the Strong Bad license. Are you deeply, deeply concerned by this competition?
DC: Not really. They can't use the terms -sode, -sodic, epi-, or ep- without paying us a 95% royalty. (Section II, subsection A, part iii, beeyatch.) We support their continued success, as long as they don't give their games away for free.
RPS: Obviously many are saying this can only end in the courts. Do you foresee a battle for the legal rights to Strong Bad?
DC: At this point, my hope is that this will be resolved with some sort of physical confrontation. Hopefully on Pay Per View.
RPS: You must be wary of getting on the wrong side of the notoriously litigious Videlectrix. Do you worry that Telltale may be the next on the long list of companies destroyed by this developer?
DC: Have you met their lawyer? If it weren't for the Videlectrix team he would be the dumbest guy on the planet.
RPS: Many have criticised Telltale’s approach to the partnership with Videlectrix from the very beginning. It was made clear that their creative direction for the series of games was not being taken into account. Do you think, in hindsight, that Telltale might have acted with arrogance?
DC: I think the "Behind the Bad" documentary makes it pretty clear that the team at Videlectrix is not familiar with "modern" gaming in any sense of the word. Being dismissive of their opinion is actually the kindest thing we could possibly be doing for them.
RPS: Even after all this, do you still have the gall to finish this interview with a plug for the Strong Bad series?
DC: But of course. Check out Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People, featuring all of your favourite characters from Homestarrunner.com (and even the lame ones). We even gave those Videlectrix clowns a cameo in the finale.
And with that, we'll let the matter rest. Telltale have clearly been put in their place. Videlectrix have had their dignity restored. And we've been accused of being paid to run these ridiculous interviews. Check out SBCG4AP - it's the first decent non-free point and click adventure in years.
*Not necessarily entirely factual.