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Lionsgate deal primes Telltale to make episodic TV/game hybrids

Lionsgate deal primes Telltale to make episodic TV/game hybrids

February 24, 2015 | By Alex Wawro

Episodic game maker Telltale Games has cut a deal with Lionsgate Entertainment for an unspecified sum that will see the San Rafael-based studio start making episodic TV/game "Super Shows," starting with an original Telltale Games property. 

As part of the deal, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and newly-minted Unity CEO John Riccitiello will join Telltale's board of directors

What's most interesting from a development perspective is how Telltale aims to tie (episodic) game development into television production to reliably produce an episodic "Super Show" that Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner described to Entertainment Weekly as "one part of interactive playable content with one part of scripted television style content." 

According to Bruner, each episode of a "Super Show" will be released as a game/TV package across game consoles, PCs and mobile devices "so that you can consume the interactive portion or watch the scripted show portion in any order you’d like."

"For instance, if you play the interactive episode first, certain elements of the scripted episode portion will be tailored to reflect some choices made in your interactive play through," Bruner told EW. "If you watch the show before playing, some elements in the interactive portions may be presented differently than if you played first. The interactive episodes will never release without a scripted episode, they will always come out together."

He went on to add that non-interactive versions of the scripted entertainment would be made available on streaming networks and broadcast TV some time after the release of a given "Super Show" episode.

This deal is in line with what Bruner told Gamasutra earlier this year as he stepped up to take the CEO role of Telltale, foreshadowing that "When we look at our format...we spend a lot of time thinking about, 'What if we built a piece of content that's specifically designed to do everything that's perfect for us?' And there's been a lot of energy put in that direction."

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