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Telltale, it's time to start communicating with your fans.

posted by Lucazzy on - Viewed by 573 users

Hey guys,

I want to start out by saying that this is not a hate thread, it's a suggestion thread that I think many people will agree with. As we all know, Telltale started Wolf Among Us in October. It was assumed by many that TWDS2 would be in November and WAU would continue in December, with them alternating months. Instead, we got TWD in December. Great, it was really good. But still no word on Wolf Among Us.

Then we hear towards the end of December that the next episode of WAU is almost done and we will get information after the New Year. First 2 weeks of January, nothing. Now today, January 14 - considered by many at this point to be mid January - we finally get a release date for the first week of February.

It's easy to assume by many that both The Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us were delayed multiple times during their developments. That was basically confirmed in today's announcement, though details were left out. It's also easy for the community to make the connection and assume that Telltale has had to delay The Walking Dead S2 and Wolf Among Us due to the development of Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands starting.

Is this true? We don't know. Telltale doesn't release details. So I'm writing this with the hope that a higher up at Telltale is paying attention to these forums. Telltale, since discovering you with TWD S1 I have loved everything you put out. Some of my most entertaining gaming moments of 2013 are in 400 Days and the first episode of TWD2 and WAU. That being said, your PR sucks. Big time.

You have fans threatening to never buy a season pass again. You have fans accusing you of biting off more than you can chew, trying to develop 4 series at the same time. Is this true? Probably not. I don't think from a business perspective Telltale would take on so many projects if they didn't think they could handle it. Though it's hard to not ask questions and make assumptions when we know absolutely nothing about these projects.

And before people say that the game developers have no business sharing development information with their fans - let me say that Telltale is an exception. They specialize in episodic content released periodically, which means that we play as they develop, and fan feedback guides them on where to go next.

So Telltale, as fans whose feedback is a vital part of the development process, we ask that you communicate more freely with the community. We pay for an entire season when episodes have yet to be made because we trust you to deliver on your promise. But so far the communication between fans and developers has been a one way street, with fans giving money and feedback to guide development while the developers themselves keep us on our toes.

So here's what I suggest: Give us a monthly update about where things are at in the studio. Starting in February, just make a blog post telling us what you guys have been up to. How development on the next episode of every current ongoing series is going. Use it to make announcements such as possible delays or to post new teasers and trailers. Use it to announce release dates instead of dropping us with a release date a week before it happens. Build some hype. Maybe have some video interviews with some developers about how response from the last episode will be going into the next one, or just anything really. Communicating with the fans about the active development will make a lot of us very happy.

When we buy a season pass, we know we aren't getting it all in one piece. But we also want to be able to see how our money is being used to put the rest of the pieces together. Telltale, I love your games. That is not the issue here. The issue is communication with the fans, and communicating more will build more hype around your games and also throw a lot of good PR in your direction.

Hopefully others will agree with me, and hopefully this makes it to the eyes of the higher ups over at Telltale and they seriously consider what I suggested.

Whether or not they go with the monthly update idea, just know that from now on: Silence is not a valid option.

8 Comments
  • I'm probably in the minority but I disagree. Once they start interacting too much with their fanbase they'll be like Bioware and fans will start feeling entitled (yes the darn E-word that's so popular nowadays) and take everything as a promise. Least of all they'll have influence in the end, and there'll be stupid fan-service.

    I cannot think of a "fan-friendly" company I know that hasn't bend over backwards at some point and it sickens me whenever I realise that something in a product is there because fans demanded it. I don't care. My opinion, take it or leave it.

    • I actually had BioWare in mind when writing this. I think BioWare is an example of taking fan feedback the right way. Look, our feedback got us the ME3 Extended Cut which made the last couple of hours of the game so much better.

      I mean, it's a delicate balance. Fans should not be treated as developers because, simple, we aren't (nor are most of us qualified to be). But complete silence and occasional updates after most of us have purchased a season pass is just unacceptable, even more so for a company like Telltale that relies so much on fan feedback during active development of a series.

    • Bioware has other issues than 'entitled fans'.

    • I don't need to hear from them. The only 2 options are that they're still working on the game, or that it's being cancelled. It'd probably be pretty big news if it were cancelled, so silence means they're still working on it. I don't need a hourly/daily/weekly/monthly update that says "We're still working on it". It'll be out when it comes out. I don't have any control over it, so no point in me stressing or getting angry about it.

  • Start communicating with your fans or else you will start losing sales and business all together. The CEO of TellTale is the worst I've seen so far out of any gaming CEO. At least hire a new PR person or someone who will bother to talk to your own fans.

  • Telltale won't announce release dates particularly far ahead of time because they don't KNOW when they'll be able to release games until practically the last minute. They've always done this and I don't see them changing now.

    That said... I do agree with pretty much everything else in the OP. Telltale NEED to keep people updated on things, both good and bad, if they want to retain even a shred of loyalty. I hope they realize this.

    And one more thing... please don't go blaming puzzlebox or the PR team for the lack of communication. I can't go into details about things, but I'll just say that she/they are not at fault here.

  • Good ideas and suggestions. Having a community moderator than can actually communicate with fans is vital is well. If their hands are being tied the people above need to realise this is only hurting Telltale.

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