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Telltale King's Quest timeline

posted by BagginsKQ on - last edited - Viewed by 4.4K users

For those keeping count, first announcement was exactly two years on February 17, 2013, and last confirmed information was given about 1 1/2 years ago on June 2011 (from 01/23/2013).

The last major production/development information was made in an interview on May 2011.

It has now been confirmed that the game was cancelled.


[*]February 17, 2011: Telltale's Steve Allison (SVP of marketing) announces several franchises at a press conference including Walking Dead, and Fables. Telltale announces that they have obtained a Sierra license, King's Quest to be the first game, other series to follow. King's Quest is thought to be a reboot.

[*]February 18, 2011: Telltale announces King's Quest in a blog post on the Telltale website. It mentions that Walking Dead will be released first, followed by fable (they were projecting for a Winter 2011, and a Q1 2012 release). King's Quest's release is not clear, but implied to be an undertermined point in the horizon, apparently post Fable. Mentions 'reboot'.

[*]February 19, 2011: Telltale adds King's Quest to the Telltale forum list for people to discuss the game. The first post is by Alan Johnson the Telltale Community Manager.
[*]March 14, 2011: Interview with Adventure gamer. Confirmed not to be a true reboot.

[*]June 7, 2011: E3, very little confirmed. It's not to be reboot, and will probably star Royal Family of Daventry. Roberta Williams was 'consulted'. Hints that future Sierra games would be after King's Quest, possibly Space Quest or others. Telltale games to be pushed back to 2012 release dates (this moves Walking Dead to 2012).
[*]September 11, 2011: Gaming Examiner interviews Alan Johson, who tells them that Telltale is working on King's Quest, but it won't be out for a long time.

[*]March 12, 2012: Fables is pushed back to Q3 2012 (pushing King's Quest further back).

[*]March 14, 2012: CEO Dan Connors makes a nod to wards King's Quest Briefly in an interview. He picked up King's Quest because he felt it was a classic IP, and would be similar to resurrecting other classic adventures like they did with Monkey Island. He mentions that they aren't focusing on it yet (article discusses that Walking Dead and Fables are the next priority).

[*]April 24, 2012: Walking Dead episode I is finally released (after being delayed since winter 2011).

[*]May 16, 2012: Dan Connors confirms, that Dave Grossman, and his group was starting work on King's Quest. It is mentioned that they were trying to put together the staff, and get it into production. They mention that they had talked to alot of people about it. Other than that he said they didn't have much to say about it yet. Still looks like they were looking for a post-Fables release. Walking Dead is their main focus at that point.

[*]June 2012:E3, mostly talk about Walking Dead, showing of Episode 2. No confirmed references to King's Quest, or much of anything else of importance. Not much on Fables either.

[*]July 6 2012: Walking Dead Season 2 Announced.

[*]November 20, 2012: Walking Dead Episode 5 released. No announcements on the release date of the next game series. Still believed to be Fables next.

[*]February 6, 2013: Telltale launches beta for new website and forums, that will ultimately replace the old website. There is currently no webpage for King's Quest, and no direct access to a King's Quest forum either. However, the forum still shows up through a hidden link (and is useable).

[*]February 12, 2013: It is announced that Fables game will be more of a tie-in, and won't be called Fables. It is looking more likely that it will be the next game released. Walking Dead Season 2, will be a future release (how far in the future is unknown). It is also mentioned that Telltale has many other projects they are working on at at the same time (but no specifics as to what these projects are, or when they will be announced). IGN appears to assume that this will include King's Quest. Fables was originally to be released in Q1 2012, got pushed back to Q3 2012, but was not released.

[*]February 17, 2013: Two year anniversary of when Telltale's King's Quest was first announced (nine months from the previous major announcement).

[*]March 1, 2013: Dan Connors states that they aren't ready to say anything about the King's Quest project yet, but will say something when they are ready to talk about it. Rock Paper Shotgun asked if there were anything beyond Fables and King's Quest down the pipeline, and Connors mentions that they have a couple of unannounced projects being sorted out. Fables and Walking Dead Season 2 are projected for 2013 releases.

[*]April 3, 2013: Steve Allison confirms that Telltale has since cancelled work on the franchise. The forum is still up, so far.

Note (miscellaneous):
We also know that this year in 2013 that Telltale is expanding in size, to make more games. No idea what they are expanding to make though.

Paul Trowe/Replay (3rd party)

[*]April 10, 2012: "The remaining issue, as with King’s Quest, would be licensing the games from owners Activision. Trowe explained that Activision had been a touch unrealistic when he first approached them. Activision told us that they wanted $500,000 up front,” he explained. “And greater than 50% revenue share for those properties. I told them ‘good luck on getting that’, because I don’t think anybody’s going to pay that fee. I can tell you that they changed their tune about six months after that.” But since then Space Quest has been licensed elsewhere, and Replay are currently in negotiations over getting the rights for themselves. “I want to say it’s looking good,” said Trowe, “but right now I’d give us 50/50.”

RPS: So also with King’s Quest, they’ve been uncharacteristically generous in allowing fan projects. Have you seen the project the Silver Lining?
Paul: The Silver Lining wasn’t available for sale…
RPS: That’s right, yes.
Paul:And in addition it wasn’t really a King’s Quest. In my opinion they did an injustice to the King’s Quest franchise.
RPS: That’s interesting, why do you think that?
Paul: I just don’t think it held true to Roberta’s vision, just like I don’t think the Leisure Suit Larrys that have come out after Al wasn’t involved held true to Al’s vision. And that’s why I refuse to work on a Leisure Suit Larry game if Al wasn’t involved. I refuse to work on a King’s Quest game if Roberta’s not involved.
RPS: Would Roberta be willing to be involved, she’s been out of the industry for a while hasn’t she?
Paul: I can’t speak for Roberta, but I can tell you that we’re currently talking to her and Ken.

[*]April 12, 2012: "I love the Sierra classics!! Can you bring back King's Quest, Space Quest, or Police Quest? Our good friends over at Tell Tale have licensed King's Quest from Activision. If we do our job right then maybe, just MAYBE we'll be able to partner with them and ruinite the Space Quest team, King's Quest team (go Roberta!!!!) and Police Quest team for re-makes or new versions of those (Space Quest 7 anybody?)."

[*]June 5, 2012: Trowe related Kickstarter sabotage controversy (false claims/smears about several other competing projects, and sockpuppetry). He later apologies. However it is unclear how much the duplicity affected any previous claims made before it was discovered by MixnMojo and others.

[*]April 1, 2013: “They had [the King's Quest rights], and we were going to license it from them to make the remakes. I wouldn’t do a King’s Quest without Roberta. [Telltale senior VP of publishing] Steve Allison told me that they have the rights but they don’t have the bandwidth.” Allison offered to look into sub-licensing King’s Quest out to Replay, but Trowe hit a dead end when he brought the conversation over to Activision. ”I talked to the guys at Activision and they were like, ‘No, we’re pulling it [from Telltale] because we’re going to do it ourselves.’

“Activision’s probably not going to give us the King’s Quest rights,” Trowe told us. “[Telltale] had it, and we were going to license it from them to make the remakes.” Telltale senior VP of publishing Steve Allison told Trowe that it was an issue of bandwidth; the studio behind 2012′s*The Walking Dead simply did not have the resources to handle*King’s Quest, what with a second season and the launch of*Fables both in the works.*

“Then I talked to the guys at Activision and they were like, ‘No, we’re pulling it because we’re going to do it ourselves,’” Trowe revealed. He doesn’t know what the publisher’s plans are for*King’s Quest, but they don’t seem to include either Telltale or Replay. We’ve reached out to Activision for comment and will update this post accordingly when we hear back. Be sure to check out our full interview with Trowe, and to head back here tomorrow for our extensive GDC chat with Telltale CEO Dan Connors."

Josh Mandel comments (3rd party)
[*]March 8, 2011: "Telltale and I have spoken a bit lately, but there's nothing more I can (or should) say about it! But I would love to be King Graham for Telltale, and I trust them completely with the property."
[*]Jan 19, 2013: Josh Mandel comments & Chat Log:
"And Activision would be foolish to say, "Here, we're renting you the license to King's Quest. Do nothing with it in perpetuity...Telltale seems to be going in another direction anyway. Walking Dead was a hugely popular license and a big success for them, I think. King's Quest would be a big step backwards, a far less well-known and far less popular license...I think it's been safely reported that Activision and/or the Sierra licenses (except Larry) are up for sale...they *had* the KQ license and did nothing with it, opting instead to pick up a license of a national television show that certainly didn't need Telltale's help."

63 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @BagginsKQ said: Until then or if they announce something earlier than their normal MO we aren't going to get jack squat out of their tight assed lips. Up until that time they could potentially announce a cancelation. I'd assume cancellation announcement would come sooner than later once legal issues are sorted out. Is there any kind of gag order on telltale on discussion of the game and any legal issues over licensing currently?

    I wouldn't think a gag-order, but considering they're so tight with press, and important at the moment, they could likely get mentions of King's Quest removed from articles if their intention was to shelf-and-never-address the subject. At least that was my take-away.

  • That might still happen even. I wouldn't write off that off as a possibility.

    Realize pretty much the only reason we know about the last KQ attempt is because Silicom Knights was sued, and the court ordered all their paperwork issued into public evidence. Even then it seems the companies likely at behest of whoever owned KQ at the time. Activision? Wanted things quiet. Perhaps until screenshots could actually be shown. That would require a game build. Of course it never got that far, before Silicon Knights was sued.

  • @BagginsKQ said:

    Bleh... Yep, that could be read many different ways, LOL.

    That sucks, but at least it was acknowledged somehow.

    On that note, it seems confirmed that Telltale's new upcoming schedule is Fables, then Walking Dead 2, then (hopefully) King's Quest.

  • Every day that Telltale doesn't delete this forum is NEWS! :D

  • It's to drive people clinically insane!

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    Blind Sniper Moderator

    @BagginsKQ said: Telltale has essentially about a 2 year turnaround from when actual development starts and release of first episode. Barring any delays.

    They generally don't give out concrete information about a game's content until less than 3-4 months before a game's release.

    If and only if the comment that they were putting a team together 9 months ago, and that was the start of development, then it would be another 14-15 months before they even say anything important at all.

    Until then or if they announce something earlier than their normal MO we aren't going to get jack squat out of their tight assed lips. Up until that time they could potentially announce a cancelation. I'd assume cancellation announcement would come sooner than later once legal issues are sorted out. Is there any kind of gag order/specific non disclosure rules on telltale on discussion of the game and any legal issues over licensing currently?

    If there is a gag, probably see them quietly shut down all discussion boards on the topic so not to draw as many questions about a game they have no plans to commit to. The forum will just quietly disappear.

    Good point. Something to keep in mind was that the press event in February 2011 was one of the few times that Telltale announced plans long into the future for their games since they are usually tight lipped. I get the feeling from the interview that KQ is still a thing, but that Telltale just announced it extremely early during the press event. I guess the cause of the early, multiple announcements from Telltale for Walking Dead/Fables/King's Quest at the time was meant to portray Telltale in a more professional light so that they could show off how they were growing as a company, despite the fact that they had very little to say besides the fact that the games were coming.

    For Telltale, knowing what their intentions for the distant future outside of around half a year or so is kind of new for Telltale fans. I'd say that the lack of communication for King's Quest might simply root from the fact that Telltale has made little developments on King's Quest due to their tight knit and small schedule rather than from complications as a result of figuring out how to make a good King's Quest game.

  • RPS: How about King’s Quest?

    Dan Connors: We’re not saying anything about that yet, but we’ll let you know when we’re ready to talk about it.

    What's interesting to me is that he didn't even say they still were working on a KQ or even had any plans for one. He could have said, "I think people will like what we have in store for KQ, but I won't say any more."

    Combine that with all the other things Telltale people have been saying (wanting to move away from traditional adventure games, insultingly referring to gameplay with challenging puzzles as "the past", wanting to move towards games based on huge franchises like Star Wars), and it makes me think a Telltale KQ is increasingly unlikely. Again, this could be a good thing if it means another development team, which actually respects the series and enjoys true adventure games and not only Telltale-style interactive movies, will end up bringing a new KQ to life.

  • Quite frankly I think Dan isn't sure if they're going to do it. If they still have the license (some say it could have expired or will soon expire), I think all their resources are going into Fables and TWD:S2. So, they don't want to rule out KQ, but at the same time it's not a priority right now.

  • One thing that has been a small niggle in the back of my mind is if it was originally delayed partly due to The Silver Lining. Let me explain, Activision might see TSL as a kind of indirect competition to a new KQ game. Having two KQ games produced and released at the same time might dilute the IP a bit. Cause confusion on search engines and the like. For example search engines tend to show links based on relevance as in most active sites. So potentially if someone searches for king's quest they may be directed to TSL instead, this could cause Activision/Telltale to lose revenue and hits from people who casually search for news on the subject.

    In my own experience in attempting to make this timeline I almost picked up links to TSL 20 pages to 1 on Telltale. Just searching for telltale KQ for some reason brings up TSL pages.

    Then POS decided to delay part 5... Could that indirectly been part of a delay on any major KQ announcements from Telltale as well? As in they are also chosen to delay their own development of KQ until a point TSL loses relevance (no longer in news cycles/active updates on its website so that anything Telltale puts up then becomes more relevant search engine wise, less competition). Of course longer TSl delays their game if it is partially at fault for the delay could also lead to Telltale's license running out, if it hasn't already.

    If this part of the issue maybe Telltale should have started with Police Quest? I think they chose KQ because it's more iconic.

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