CEO of Skybound Games Ian Howe and former creative director at Telltale Kent Mudle held a Reddit AMA yesterday to shed some light on the future of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, following the vague comments recently provided by Skybound on how the deal with Telltale will shape up.
Skybound (owner of The Walking Dead franchise created by Robert Kirkman) reached a deal with Telltale earlier this month to finish development on The Walking Dead: The Final Season.
While the terms of the deal are still being fleshed out, Skybound has confirmed that members of the original development team will be brought back to finish the project.
The AMA also confirmed that the scripts of episode 3 and 4 are being kept, so the writers' original vision for the ending won't be scrapped.
"Regarding the story, the process of developing the narrative isn’t changing, there is a long standing collaboration between the writers and Skybound over story approval and all the same people will still be involved," Howe explained.
When asked about how the transfer of employees from Telltale will work, Howe maintained that the team will work directly for Skybound to complete the game, although he couldn't provide more detail.
"The plan is for it to be staffed 100% by former Telltale staff," he wrote. "The only time we'd look elsewhere is if we can't fill a particular role from former Telltale people."
He goes on to describe the role of Telltale staff within Skybound, noting that the transition is a difficult and slow-going process.
"In the development of any game, it's often not a fixed team, people roll on and off of projects all of the time depending on where the game is at in it's development cycle and this is no different," Howe writes.
"That means there are people who were on the team who were close to rolling off onto something else, it's unfair to ask someone to come back and do a couple of weeks work, especially if that would get in the way of another job offer, so this is just one example of some of the challenges we face."
One Reddit user asked what players should expect for a "slight delay" on episodes 3 and 4 of The Final Season.
"I would guess this is everyone's number one question - What I can say is that the team is not currently working on the game and until we're back into production, it's going to be nearly impossible to give an accurate answer," Howe said.
"What I can say is that we will announce new dates as soon as we know what they are, there is no reason for us to hold that information back, so it will be public immediately that we can talk about it with confidence."
After being asked if there was a possibility the third episode would drop by the end of 2018, Howe seemed optimistic, saying: "I'm going out on a limb and will say yes, I fully expect Episode 3 to be this year and I'll be very disappointed if we can't make that happen."
The entire thread provides more information about Skybound's hopes for the partnership and also provides some behind-the-scenes on how a Telltale episode was developed, so be sure to read the entire AMA here.