Telltale to debut Stranger Things game, bring Minecraft to Netflix
Telltale Games, the development studio behind the popular Walking Dead video game series, has been in the news quite a bit over this past week. First, the developer announced they are working with Netflix to bring "interactive narratives" to the popular streaming service this fall. The first will be a five-episode interactive adventure adaptation of Telltale's already popular game, Minecraft: Story Mode. Anyone who is subscribed to Netflix will be able to use the directional and select buttons on their TV remote to "play" through the story. Netflix already has "interactive stories" on their service, including Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout and Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile. Telltale's games are already pretty basic as far as gameplay goes anyway, but this project will expose people who may be intimidated by traditional methods of gaming to their great narratives. A representative from Netflix told TechRadar that it has "no plans to get into gaming," so don't expect to play a traditional video game on Netflix any time soon.
Next, one of my dreams has come true: Telltale is making a STRANGER THINGS game for consoles and PC. I immediately fell in love with Stranger Things as soon as I watched the first episode, and I think the hype surrounding the series was well-warranted. After I finished binging the first season, I remember thinking that Telltale could do something really cool with that universe. Well, here we are! We don't know much about this game or Minecraft: Story Mode for Netflix just yet, but Telltale had this to say: "Our partnership with Netflix is something we're incredibly proud of, and while we don't have anything more to share right now, we're excited to reveal details on these projects later in the year" [via Twitter].
Just as with all good news, bad news usually follows. Not long after these exciting announcements, we learned that Telltale Games has been sued by co-founder and former CEO Kevin Bruner, according to the Marin Independent Journal. He still remained on the board of directors after he was fired last year, and says the company was contractually obligated to provide him with informational support as he worked on selling his shares of the company. The lawsuit alleges that Telltale cut off communications with Brunner as he was preparing to sell his shares.
Telltale's lawyers believe this suit was "meritless" and merely an act of revenge on a company that is already under financial strain. Late last year, Telltale laid off 90 employees, which equates to about 25 percent of its workforce.
As a gamer, I hope this lawsuit doesn't hurt the company that makes some of my favorite games.
What are your thoughts on any of these Telltale announcements? Personally, I'm worried about the company's current financial state, but this partnership with Netflix will hopefully bring in some needed revenue. As a Netflix subscriber, I'll definitely check out the "interactive narrative" version of Minecraft: Story Mode, and I'm super excited for Stranger Things...not to mention the final season of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us: Season 2.