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Former Netflix Partner Telltale Games to Be Revived Under New Leadership

Telltale Games, the studio behind the “Walking Dead” video game as well as Netflix’s “Minecraft: Storymode Adventure” series, is being brought back to life by two game industry veterans, Polygon was first to report Wednesday.

The studio’s assets have been purchased by Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle, two game industry executives without a prior connection to Telltale. The duo now wants to monetize Telltale’s existing catalog, and develop new titles that follow Telltale’s proven model of story-based episodic gaming. They told Polygon that they were looking to rehire some of Telltale’s staff on a freelance basis, but keep the company small for the coming months.

However, Telltale won’t be able to keep working on some its best-known franchises. The rights to “The Walking Dead” are now owned by Skybound, and the rights to Netflix titles reverted back to the streaming giant. In addition to the “Minecraft” interactive adventure, Telltale had also been tapped to develop a “Stranger Things” game for Netflix.

The new Telltale will have the rights to some of the other franchises it worked on in the past, including back-catalog rights to “The Wolf Among Us” and “Batman,” according to Polygon. The company also owns the full rights to its own IP.

Telltale surprised the industry when it laid off its entire staff of 250 in September of 2018. The company had been in talks to raise new funding, but wasn’t able to close those deals in time.

Earlier this summer, Netflix released a “Stranger Things” game for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Mac and PC. The company also announced plans for a “Stranger Things” mobile game, which is set to be released in 2020.

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