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Lionsgate To Invest In Telltale Games


Well, that was certainly unexpected. Lionsgate has announced, via press release, that they have invested in games development studio Telltale Games. As such, the CEO of Lionsgate, Jon Feltheimer, will join the Telltale Games Board of Directors as the two companies partner towards creating works consisting of existing and original IP. Telltale will also have the opportunity to develop episodic television series content thanks to this investment.

“Our partnership with Kevin Bruner and his team at Telltale continues to accelerate our momentum in the game space,” said Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin. “The convergence between premium filmed entertainment brands and original game properties is a natural direction in which to continue diversifying our content business, and Telltale is the perfect partner with whom to explore this dynamic area of growth.”

Update: This new partnership will also allow Telltale Games to explore the creation of “Super Shows,” according to Telltale Games CEO Kevin Bruner in an interview with EW.

“A ‘Super Show’ episode combines one part of interactive playable content with one part of scripted television-style content,” Bruner explains. “Both pieces, when combined together, are what make an actual Super Show ‘episode.'”

“Each Super Show episode 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. For instance, if you play the interactive episode first, certain elements of the scripted episode portion will be tailored to reflect some choices made in your interactive play through. If you watch the show before playing, some elements in the interactive portions may be presented differently than if you played first. The interactive episodes will never release without a scripted episode, they will always come out together.”

It wasn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility for Lionsgate to make such an investment in Telltale Games like this. I mean, Peter Levin used to be purely the co-founder of the Nerdist Network before Lionsgate poached him to create gaming content of their own. However, this news does solidify the importance in which the Canadian/American film company is committed to releasing quality games using their existing franchises.

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Which begs the question; what exactly will Telltale Games make for Lionsgate first? A Hunger Games title, possibly including the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson, would be an absolutely fantastic get for Telltale. Perhaps they would want to go deeper into the vault and create a true anti-hero in an American Psycho game? Knowing my luck, it will turn out to be an episodic Twilight game, or a rudimentary Saw title.

Either way, this financial freedom gives Telltale Games a better opportunity to explore an IP of their own, even if it means tailoring an episode of a television series to work alongside it. If they can maintain the level of storytelling quality they had as an independent studio while using that new money to create a viable game engine, then something special could be in store for the games (and, now, television) studio.

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