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In a recent interview in Game Informer, Telltale Games co-founder Kevin Bruner claimed that his development studio could be “right there with Valve” within the next five to ten years.
It’s certainly a bold claim from a developer with only a few IPs under its belt, but there’s little denying that Telltale have really embraced the possibilities of the digital publishing space. Bruner claimed that he sees Telltale “cementing itself as a major, first-class digital publisher. Right there with Valve...” The developer’s latest title, The Walking Dead series, has proven highly successful and critically acclaimed to boot. Certainly if they can keep up their current work then serious expansion may well be on the cards.
Bruner even went so far as to say that he saw the company “having the scope of a current EA or something like that." Perhaps the most interesting thing to take from these statements is the possibilities developers see in the more open style of digital publishing. With indie titles on the rise perhaps low-mid developers such as Telltale do have a chance to expand.
As well as this, Bruner also commented on the role of Hollywood in videogames. "I also see us with a closer relationship to Hollywood in a way where there is more of a transmedia approach, where games and television and movies are all coming from the same source and there is a strategy to execute it across all of the different outlets. The game component is considered along with the movie component along with the show component, and they grow together.”
While Telltale have already dabbled with movie-themed IPs (Jurassic Park, Back To The Future), it would be interesting to see them expand their current style and ethos. But then again, would that eliminate part of the studio’s charm? In a strange way, the often horrific bugs in The Walking Dead are a sort of appeal to the 90s gamer part of my brain.
So do you see a small developer like Telltale evolving into a media giant like Valve or even EA? Whatever your thoughts be sure to comment on them below.