The studio’s downfall seemingly took something secret down with it.
The sudden closure of Telltale Games at the end of last year was something that seemed to come out of nowhere, especially considering the amount of content the studio produced and the big franchises it dealt with, including the likes of Game of Thrones, Batman, and The Walking Dead. A lot of stories have come out since the dramatic shutdown, painting a picture of a company ran in a shockingly poor way, but another has emerged that suggests that there were other projects as well that suffered because of the studio’s closure.
We’ve known for a while about the Stranger Things game Telltale had been working on prior to their shuttering, which eventually got cancelled when the studio was shut down, but it seems like that wasn’t the only game based on the Netflix series that suffered that fate because of what happened to Telltale.
From an article written by The Verge, we now know that Telltale was working with Night School Studio, developer of Oxenfree, to create a game that bridged the gap between the second and third seasons of the show. The Verge chose not to show the footage they saw to protect their sources, but it was described as being a first person chapter-based title that featured narrative decisions that would carry over to each successive episode, much like Telltale’s internally developed titles.
It’s not clear how far along the project was in development, as sources claim communication between the two studios became “separated”, and that it seemed to became harder and harder to get a direct line of communication going. It could have perhaps been during the time when Telltale was imploding in the shadows- which, incidentally, also saw Night School Studios miss payments for their work.
“There was still a total lack of clarity on what was happening to our project,” one source said. “Our project was basically just thrown into limbo immediately, and not based on the quality of it, not based on where we were in the production timeline, but just because the company that was funding it was in dire straits. We transitioned really quickly from working on a game that we were all very proud and excited about that was really cool, to just taking buckets and trying to get water out of the boat because we were pretty far in the hole, financially, from this game.”
It seems that whatever this game would have been is most likely lost to time, much like Telltale Games itself. Which is a real shame- but at least we’ve still got a different Stranger Things game to look forward to.