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Telltale Games Should Give Up KQ License

posted by MtnPeak on - last edited - Viewed by 562 users

If Telltale Games does not announce any definitive KQ plans in the next five months, then they should give up the KQ license and let another development team (who actually respects the KQ series and KQ fans) bring the series back to life in a proper way and in grand fashion, the way the series deserves. Dave Grossman has been dismissive of KQ, and it has been a long time since we have heard anything from Telltale about KQ.

It is a slap in the face to fans of classic adventure gaming for Telltale to essentially sit on the KQ rights and prevent any new KQ game from being made, while they pretend like TTG is doing adventure gaming a favor by having acquired the license in the first place.

I think most of us realize that Telltale Games was never the right developer for a new King's Quest, anyway. Telltale is great when it comes to nonchallenging, somewhat formulaic, episodic games with limited virtual exploration. They seem to have settled on a strategy of acquiring licenses for well-known brands, and then releasing games that attract more attention because of the movie/book/comic brand than they do for the actual original merits of the game. And more power to them.

Many of us were willing to give Telltale the benefit of the doubt, but enough is enough. If, in 5 months, Telltale hasn't announced anything definitive about KQ, then they need to do the right thing and relinquish the license so someone else can bring back the series the right way.

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  • As a longtime King's Quest fan, I resent the notion that I ought to be "thankful" that interactive movie maker Telltale has acquired or leased what could be exclusive rights to KQ. As I wrote earlier, I was willing to give Telltale the benefit of the doubt, even though I felt they weren't the right developer for a KQ. But, now that so much time has passed without a single mention of KQ, I have to wonder what is going on. If Telltale does in fact have exclusive rights to the brand, and if, as appears increasingly likely, they have shelved the KQ project, then we may not be seeing any new KQ for many more years at least. But KQ fans are supposed to be thankful?

    When the Telltale KQ project was announced, we were promised more details about the game after a few months. Instead, all we got was a story about an apparently-for-show offer to Roberta Williams (OF COURSE Telltale knew she wouldn't accept) to co-design the game. They just wanted to be able to say that the offer was made, and that they received advice from her. And that was almost 2 years ago. Beyond that, we haven't gotten anything. Not one word.

    Couple that with the much-discussed dismissive attitude of Telltale's Dave Grossman about King's Quest and classic adventure gaming in general, and it shouldn't be hard to see why many KQ fans are concerned.

    Now we hear that Telltale is talking about wanting to move in a new direction with more "serious" storytelling, and has been throwing around names like Star Wars and Half-Life.

    Telltale has been moving away from adventure gaming elements (not that they ever were a paragon of designing epic quests full of exploration and challenging puzzles, anyway) and towards interactive movies. So, even if Telltale does develop a KQ, it seems likely that the product will be more like their more interactive movie-style recent releases.

    Telltale isn't giving King's Quest the respect it deserves. How much do they value KQ and its fans?

    Why should we be happy if Telltale is acquiring or leasing exclusive rights to various classic adventure brands? I don't see how this is necessarily a good thing for adventure gaming, or at least what I consider adventure gaming, especially when the people acquiring the rights don't even care for the original series they are supposed to be rebooting. And wouldn't a little more diversity in terms of developers be a nice thing? I am tired of the idea that Telltale is the one "savior" for long-ignored adventure game fans.

    The recent Kickstarter phenomenon has shown us that there is still strong interest for these games, and people will be more likely to support a product if they know developers behind the projects love and understand adventure gaming as much as the fans.

    I repeat:

    ATTN: TELLTALE REPRESENTATIVE

    WE DEMAND TO HEAR FROM TELLTALE WHETHER KQ IS CURRENTLY IN PRODUCTION. DOES TELLTALE STILL PLAN ON RELEASING KQ GAMES? IF SO, WHEN?

  • Who is "we?" So far I've seen you making demands and other posters making fun of you for it. You have no leverage to make demands and certainly aren't entitled to anything. I agree that it would be nice to get a short answer from TT though.

  • @mosfet said: I agree that it would be nice to get a short answer from TT though.



    After almost 2 years of being ignored, the time for a deferential "pretty please it would be nice maybe if you get a chance if it isn't too much to ask perhaps we could get a couple words?" approach is over, as far as I'm concerned.

    You're darn right we are demanding answers and demanding them now. And, don't worry, whether or not the "we" was used in the royal sense, it didn't presume to include some people here who insist on making excuses for Telltale even as the company's role in snatching up the KQ license might mean we don't see a new KQ for a very long time.

    I make no apologies for wanting to see a new KQ game developed and done right. Telltale is not entitled to mine and other KQ fans' support just because they promise to have the words "King's Quest" in the title.

    It is time for Telltale to show more respect to KQ and its fans.

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @MtnPeak said: As a longtime King's Quest fan, I resent the notion that I ought to be "thankful" that interactive movie maker Telltale has acquired or leased what could be exclusive rights to KQ.


    Telltale's released quite a few sequels to classic adventure games that were made in the classic adventure game style themselves (check out the Sam & Max series and Tales of Monkey Island for examples).

    @MtnPeak said: When the Telltale KQ project was announced, we were promised more details about the game after a few months. Instead, all we got was a story about an apparently-for-show offer to Roberta Williams (OF COURSE Telltale knew she wouldn't accept) to co-design the game. They just wanted to be able to say that the offer was made, and that they received advice from her. And that was almost 2 years ago. Beyond that, we haven't gotten anything. Not one word.
    The offer was definitely not just for show. They brought Ron Gilbert, the creator of Monkey Island in for Tales of Monkey Island, and he had a large hand in the initial story design process. The darker tone of the game and the evolution of the characters (such as the Voodoo Lady) have a lot to do with Ron's input.

    @MtnPeak said: Telltale has been moving away from adventure gaming elements (not that they ever were a paragon of designing epic quests full of exploration and challenging puzzles, anyway) and towards interactive movies. So, even if Telltale does develop a KQ, it seems likely that the product will be more like their more interactive movie-style recent releases.
    I wouldn't necessarily say that they're moving away from traditional adventure games. The last few haven't been, but that doesn't mean all of their games will be in this style. Telltale's been mixing up classic point and clicks with more casual adventure games since their inception (for example, the CSI games and Puzzle Agent), so there's no reason to think that they still won't be releasing classic adventure games based on their history. Hector was one of the five games announced by Telltale at their 2011 press event, and it was a traditional point-and-click adventure game.

  • @MtnPeak said: It is a slap in the face to fans of classic adventure gaming for Telltale to essentially sit on the KQ rights and prevent any new KQ game from being made,


    You know, I agree with your general complaint, but I can't help to think there's something strange in your "prevent any new KQ game from being made". Before the Kickstarter phenomenon, Sierra franchises were pretty much in chryogenic sleep (well, they still are except for Larry, but the return of their designers gives a glimpse of hope). You said yourself that Roberta Williams is retired and has put videogames behind her. So... do you actually know if someone else is trying to build another "classic" King's Quest? Is this developer's strategy being blocked by Telltale's licensing agreement?

    [EDIT: I removed a rambling about the Walking Dead license being given to Telltale and Activision at the same time: a friend told me the Activision TWD probably covers the tv series, so they can coexist.]

  • ATTN TELLTALE EMPLOYEES: WE LIKE CAKE. WE DEMAND TO KNOW IF YOU LIKE CAKE AS WELL. IF NOT, PLEASE RELINQUISH ALL CAKE THAT YOU MAY HAVE STORED IN YOUR COMPANIES KITCHEN AND/OR REFRIGERATOR. WE DEMAND THIS.



    Bt

  • The Cake is a Lie... or is it?

  • Telltale's been trying to move away from traditional P&C games for a while now. This can be seen by the attempt to move away from traditional P&C controls, for one. Add in the fact that Telltale has gone on record to say that the genre "doesn't need us anymore" is evidence enough that they don't plan on treading the ground they used to.

    It's kind of sad for me (or it was, I don't care anymore). When Telltale first started I thought their approach to adventure was a little shallow and simple, but I expected greater things to come. I figured they'd have to build their audience and get people used to the idea of adventure games again. Instead it went the other direction. They weren't trying to create more fans of adventures, they instead used the adventure fanbase and their roots in classic adventure developers (namely LucasArts) as their foundation to build upon so they could have enough notoriety to move on to mainstream. This doesn't sit right with me.

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @MusicallyInspired said: Telltale's been trying to move away from traditional P&C games for a while now. This can be seen by the attempt to move away from traditional P&C controls, for one. Add in the fact that Telltale has gone on record to say that the genre "doesn't need us anymore" is evidence enough that they don't plan on treading the ground they used to.


    I wouldn't say that keyboard+mouse to click for Wallace & Gromit or point-drag-and-click (or keyboard+mouse to click) for Tales of Monkey Island really moved it away from a traditional adventure game (or even a traditional point+click, since you still point and click on objects in Telltale's later games with the mouse). The staples of the genre were still there (and those two games are among my favorites Telltale's made so far).

    Not to mention, this is the subforum for King's Quest, which began it's life as a game where you control the protagonist with a keyboard. Adventure games have always had differing control schemes (text parser (eg: Zork), text parser + keyboard (eg: King's Quest), text parser + mouse (eg: Leisure Suit Larry 7), mouse only (eg: The Secret of Monkey Island), mouse + keyboard (eg: Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures), keyboard only (eg: Grim Fandango), joystick (eg: PS2 version of Escape from Monkey Island)). Despite all of the different means of control, all of these games were still adventure games.

    As for Dan Connors statement, the statement ended with a laugh. Like I said before in this subforum, I think it's more likely that he meant that Telltale didn't have to be the flag waver for the adventure genre anymore (or better said, Telltale was no longer the company that the mainstream media would point to and say "these people are keeping a "dead" genre alive", since the mainstream media is actually covering adventure games again outside of Telltale).

    As I said, Hector was a traditional point-and-click (and wasn't a super easy or casual adventure like Back to the Future or The Walking Dead), and that came out in 2011. So, Telltale hasn't given up the genre.

    Also, Back to the Future is still a traditional point-and-click (well, point-drag-and-click) adventure game (although it's a casual adventure game, about on par with the Bone games in terms of difficulty, and I never heard anyone say that the Bone games weren't traditional point-and-click adventures, albeit definitely casual ones).

    If you look at Telltale's history, there's really not much to be worried about in regards to them moving away from traditional adventure games. Their strategy's pretty much the same as it's always been, a mixture of casual and traditional adventure games with some non-adventures (or games with light adventure elements).

    2005
    1 non-adventure
    1 casual adventure

    2006
    1 casual adventure
    1 game with light adventure game elements

    2007
    1 adventure
    1 game with light adventure game elements

    2008
    2 adventures

    2009
    2 adventures
    1 game with light adventure game elements

    2010
    1 non-adventure
    1 adventure
    2 games with light adventure game elements

    2011
    1 adventure
    1 casual adventure
    2 games with light adventure game elements

    2012
    1 casual adventure
    1 game with light adventure game elements

  • Fair points all around. But when it all comes down, there can be talk and talk on both sides with very convincing arguments, but my gut tells me it will not realistically happen. Based on what I see and my experience with Telltale. I wish they would prove me wrong. But like I said, they've gotten worse since I first became a fan, not better. I also do not necessarily classify some of the games you say are adventures as such. Also, Telltale did not design Hector.

    I'm just not interested in what they have to offer anymore. I was a fan based solely on the fact that their games somewhat resembled adventures and were made of IPs that I once enjoyed. But in retrospect, none of them were as good as their forefathers. Not to mention I dislike the episodic format. Telltale is just not my scene anymore. I don't care if they do make a King's Quest. I won't play it.

    Well, I might. If only out of sheer morbid curiosity. Or watch a playthrough or something. But I will never lay money down for another Telltale game again unless they actually do something that interests me and agrees with my personal tastes in game design.

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