Telltale Games Partners With Lionsgate to Create a “Super Show,” Combining Games & TV

February 24, 2015Written by Jason Dunning


Revealing some of the original content they’re working on for “2016 and beyond,” Telltale Games announced a collaboration with Lionsgate today.

With this partnership, Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer will join the Telltale Board of Directors, enabling both of them to “explore opportunities to co-develop existing and original IP into episodic games and television.”

The studio behind The Hunger Games, Divergent, John Wick, and more, Feltheimer talked about this deal from the Lionsgate side:

Telltale is one of the premier storytellers in the gaming world today. Their leadership in narrative-driven episodic games, together with our investment and the potential opportunities created by our premium content expertise, will continue to strengthen their ability to offer exciting new avenues of storytelling to their next generation audiences across a broad range of platforms.

Having already sold 8.5 million copies of The Walking Dead, and with Game of Thrones and Tales From the Borderlands ongoing, Telltale Games CEO Kevin Bruner also talked about the deal:

Lionsgate is one of the most innovative, entrepreneurial and impressive content companies in the world today.  I’m delighted to welcome an experienced executive like Jon, a leader who shares our unique vision, to our Board. Lionsgate has a great track record in developing and marketing feature films as well as platform-defining premium scripted television. This partnership will accelerate Telltale’s ability to create not only original games, but episodic television series based on our game properties – an area at the cutting edge of industry growth.

To go along with this news, Bruner spoke with Entertainment Weekly, where he revealed the partnership with Lionsgate is going to result in what they call a Super Show.

He explained:

A “Super Show” episode combines one part of interactive playable content with one part of scripted television style content. Both pieces, when combined together, are what make an actual Super Show “episode.” As we’ve been developing the series, we’re using both mediums in concert to deliver our story. Developing both aspects simultaneously is key to utilizing this new medium. Both parts are first class citizens during the writing and design process. It’s not an interactive series with a show, or a TV show with a game, but a story integrated in a way that only Telltale can do. For us it’s a very natural evolution of the interactive story telling expertise we’ve pioneered.

Adding that Super Show episodes “contain a lot of content, much more than a standard hour-long television episode,” Bruner says the release schedule will be similar to their games.

For the first Super Show, it’s an original IP where they’ve “created a world where we can really demonstrate the power of this new format and leverage the toolkit it brings to us as storytellers, much like we’ve done in the [game-only] space.”

With their goal to create something that has a chance of winning both a Golden Globe and Game of the Year, each Super Show “will be released as a package designed so that you can consume the interactive portion or watch the scripted show portion in any order you’d like.”

You don’t have to worry about this new Super Show model ending Telltale’s standard episodic model, as they “plan to develop both formats going forward.”

If you’re hoping for a Telltale game based on one of Lionsgate’s properties though, Bruner said, “There’s nothing to announce right now,” but they’ll continue to explore the possibilities.

Also, in a separate press release, Telltale announced that John Riccitiello, former EA CEO and Unity CEO, has joined the Board of Directors as well.

Here’s what he had to say:

Telltale has created something entirely new.  Their games combine linear storytelling and gameplay in an entirely new way that is fresh, unique, and compelling. I’m excited to partner with Kevin and his team at Telltale as they build on their success in bringing together some of what is the best of television, film and video games.

Along with the continuation of Game of Thrones and Tales From the Borderlands, Telltale Games is premiering Minecraft: Story Mode later this year.

[Source: Entertainment Weekly, PR Newswire, Job J Stauffer (Twitter)]