I was a big fan of classic TellTale, the studio that put out episodic adventure games on a conveyor belt. I'm not the new one in sheep’s clothing, because they haven’t released anything yet. Like many, I was especially drawn to The Wolf Among Us, a neo-noir murder mystery set in the same universe as the Fables graphic novels. It would have been quite poetic to return to the series ten years after its debut, but that’s not going to be paw-sibble, as new TellTale have announced that The Wolf Among Us 2 has been delayed out of 2023. There’s no new release window, but maybe it'll be ready in 2024. Hopefully.
Speaking to IGN, TellTale’s CEO Jamie Ottilie outlined some of the reasons for the delay, including the COVID-19 pandemic, a switch from Unreal Engine 4 to UE5, and an attempt to avoid crunch mode - something that was common at the original TellTale before their closure. Speaking of crunch, Ottilie says, “you can’t plan a business around it.” He also explains that “it has been incredibly difficult to recruit the last two years”, due to COVID and the general competitiveness in the games industry, so grinding devs down with crunch is a no-go.
Wolf Among Us 2 has been through a ruff development. Old TellTale announced another adventure with Bigby all the way back in 2017 before the studio closed for good the year after. In 2019, LCG Entertainment bought a chunk of TellTale’s IP, assets, and trademarks and (sort of) revived the company, only with new staff - kind of like using glamours. Wolfamongus 2 was re-announced later in 2019, received a new trailer last year, and here we are now.
It feels like Bigby’s second outing has been a long time coming, but Ottilie admits the team was two years away from being fully staffed when they re-announced the sequel - a move to help secure funding and probably to attract talent. The game won’t be using any previously developed material from old TellTale’s time on the project, but they will be releasing it episodically when all episodes are fully developed. That was a move that worked for Don’t Nod’s episodic drama Tell Me Why, and I think it's important to keep those water cooler conversations alive for future TellTale series.
We’ll need to wait a while more to see Bigby in therapy, but TellTale are releasing another adventure this year: The Expanse, a gravity-defying adaptation of the sci-fi TV show. For now though, I’ll just howl into the night.