DEC. 5, 2015 • Batman is getting the episodic game treatment from Telltale Games thanks to a deal with Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. The 2016 release got teased at this week’s The Game Awards 2015 in Los Angeles. The title for the game series has not been disclosed, but Telltale said each installment will be a digital-only release for the PC, Mac, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms. The developer has already produced episodic series content based on The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Minecraft, The Wolf Amongst Us and Borderlands franchises.
Impact: Telltale is far and away the leader in episodic content where games are delivered in chunks or episodes similar to a television series. This content is perfect for digital distribution where consumers can buy individual episodes or buy or subscribe to a whole season. With the Walking Dead episodic games (based off of the same comic book franchise as the TV series), Telltale has become a leading distributor of full game downloads on Xbox Live and PSN. According to DFC’s Digital Game Tracker Telltale, along with Minecraft, is the leading indie game publisher on XBLA and PSN by a wide margin. Nearly nine million copies (episodes) have sold on all platforms with more than 30 million unique players having tried the series thanks to free first episodes.
The dark and brooding Batman franchise is a perfect fit for Telltale to build game narratives around. The seriously dark The Walking Dead series has been a hugely successful endeavor for studio and Batman follows right in suit. Telltale’s prowess is this segment is no surprise given the outfit was started by former LucasArts hands who cut their teeth on story-based titles there. Interestingly enough, Telltale is successful enough in this niche that it already has a relationship with Disney’s Marvel Entertainment for a game series due in 2017, and can still cut a deal with Warner Bros.’ DC Entertainment. Between Telltale’s approach to game design and the hugely popular franchises it works with, the studio’s content can boast enviable crossover appeal to mainstream consumers. We expect Telltale’s Batman will be launch next spring to tie into the expected release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The consumer response to the episodic game has the potential to be huge. –Jeremy Miller