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Semi-OT Any chance of this happening...

posted by Spykes on - last edited - Viewed by 342 users

I've read that Telltale games is made up of some people who used to work at LucasArts. So I was wondering if there is any chance they could take what they're doing with Sam and Max (new games in an episodic format) and apply it other great point-and-clickers that LucasArts had in the past. Namely, I'd like to know if there is any chance of some new Day of the Tentacle games? I think those characters would work great in the format that Sam and Max are now in.

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  • What made Sam & Max special as a license is that LucasArts didn't actually own it. It's Steve Purcell's property and the story seems to be that LucasArts kind of had a lease on the game rights that they would renew every so few years, and after LucasArts cancelled the sequel obviously there was no interest from one or both parties in renewing it again, and so it ran out (in May 2005 I think it was?) leaving Purcell with the freedom to sign a deal with another company.

    The other adventure licenses like Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion are fully owned by LucasArts, and thus are a whole different ball game from a legal perspective. LucasArts itself hasn't supported any of these franchises in years, even by just making them available to buy, so the idea of them handing over their IP to another company seems improbable. Never say never, but those particular licenses don't seem likely to be continued in the near (or distant) future.

  • If LucasArts doesnt support or care about the license anymore, why wont they sell the property? What good does it do LucasArts to just hold onto them if they wont do anything with it?

  • There's some discussion of this already here, mostly stemming from Telltale's Dan Connors interview from July 06;

    GI: A lot of those LucasArts franchises are still very popular - you spoke about Day of the Tentacle. Is there a chance you'll be able to wrangle a few more of those away for more episodes? Are you working on that at all?

    Connors: It's definitely on our minds and it's definitely something we think about. Maybe I can give you more information a while from now. It's definitely something that makes good sense to everybody. For them it's the same thing. For them it's "What's the business model? What's the retail model?" It's not their type of game "it's not Star Wars, it's not with the movie, with the lightsaber - an action game. When trying to do the two things at the same time it makes it challenging. They've been trying to figure out the right solution, and hopefully Telltale is part of it.

  • As I don't follow Lucasarts or Star Wars as much as I used to, and I'm kind of lazy to search for the answer right now, does anyone know if Lucasarts ever "outsources" Star Wars games to other developers, while retaining something like publishing rights?

    For example, is the CSI license given to Ubisoft, who then "outsources" the development of the game to Telltale, but remains the publisher?

    Even so, I can still see how traditional publishers are wary of the episodic model--even the CSI games, which look to be structured episodically, are only released together, in a box, published and distributed by Ubisoft.

    I hope my rambly post makes some sense...

  • @Spykes said: If LucasArts doesnt support or care about the license anymore, why wont they sell the property? What good does it do LucasArts to just hold onto them if they wont do anything with it?



    Even if they don't want to do anything with it, it's still in their best interest to hold on to that IP. It doesn't cost them anything to just sit on a property that may be valuable to them someday. Sucks for us, but that's business.

    The interview excerpt that JP quoted is a glimmer of hope though. In theory, if Telltale were to develop an episodic series for one of LucasArts licenses with LucasArts as publisher, it would be a pretty low risk situation for LucasArts. With Bone and especially Sam & Max, Telltale's trying to prove that there is a way for these types of games to be profitable. You also have to think that Sam & Max doesn't cost a ton of money. With a modest budget, low risk and a likely chance of generating profit (which hopefully the success of Telltale's current and future games will show), LucasArts might find something to gain and little to lose by bringing those licenses back. Of course, it has to be something they're actually interested in discussing, but it's definitely worth hoping for.

  • yes it does KOTOR is an example.. but do you think the people responsible for cancelling freelance police..and firing most of the team that makes up telltale would then give them a monkey island license? I doubt it :mad:

  • @Hero1 said: yes it does KOTOR is an example.. but do you think the people responsible for cancelling freelance police..and firing most of the team that makes up telltale would then give them a monkey island license? I doubt it :mad:



    The cancellation of Sam & Max wasn't personal, it was a business decision. In the same way, LucasArts would bring those adventure licenses back if they really thought there was a way it would make them money. They don't have a grudge against adventure games just like they don't have a love for them...they'll do what sells. And Telltale may be able to propose a model that will make the licenses "sellable" for them. If Season 1 turns out to be a big success, LucasArts could find it interesting, and want a piece of the pie.

  • @numble said: As I don't follow Lucasarts or Star Wars as much as I used to, and I'm kind of lazy to search for the answer right now, does anyone know if Lucasarts ever "outsources" Star Wars games to other developers, while retaining something like publishing rights?



    Very few Star Wars (or Indiana Jones) games thesedays are made in house at LucasArts.

    A few examples from the last few years;

    LEGO Star Wars 1 & 2, Traveller's Tales
    Knights of the Old Republic, Bioware
    Knights of the Old Republic 2, Obsidian
    Indiana Jones & The Emperor's Tomb, The Collective
    Secret Weapons over Normandy, Totally Games
    Rogue Leader, Factor 5
    Armed & Dangerous, Planet Moon
    Battlefront, Pandemic
    Mercenaries, Pandemic

    So LucasArts has absolutely no problem in having 3rd party developers create titles for it to publish.

    @numble said: yes it does KOTOR is an example.. but do you think the people responsible for cancelling freelance police..and firing most of the team that makes up telltale would then give them a monkey island license? I doubt it :mad:

    Different management team in place now to back when Freelance Police was cancelled.

  • @jp-30 said:

    Different management team in place now to back when Freelance Police was cancelled.



    Is there? Interesting.. I wonder how much LucasArts would want to make for them to Telltale run with a maniac mansion or monkey island license..

  • Keep in mind there's no indication that this will ever happen. LucasArts might not even be interested in talking about that kind of thing. But it's at least conceivable. The fact that Dan says "Maybe I can give you more information a while from now" means it's at least something they will try to pursue. The really promising thing is when he says LucasArts has "been trying to figure out the right solution"...which is a pretty cool thing to hear.

    You know though whether or not that ever happens the simple fact that Telltale is making Sam & Max season 1 and it's apparently doing well is kind of a gratifying "I told you so" to LucasArts. I mean they had their chance to do a Sam & Max game, they spend money and like, what, two years of development on it before throwing it all out saying it wouldn't sell, and they just essentially threw the money (and the license) away. Now Telltale's using that same license, making basically the same kind of game and using a new model to develop it and they've not only released the game, but are making money off of it. Sort of embarrassing for LucasArts.

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