Semi-OT Any chance of this happening...
edited January 2007 in General Chat
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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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.
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...
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.
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.
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
So LucasArts has absolutely no problem in having 3rd party developers create titles for it to publish.
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..
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.
What I want is games that make me feel the same way when I played Grim Fandango, Curse of Monkey Island or Syberia... a general sense of wonder and awe. Going back to old franchises isn't going to do that. I'd rather Telltale create a totally original property, one that is reminiscent, but not a copy of, older games. Not coincidentally, I'm working on a design document for a game something like that, and considering the creativity and wit that Telltale poured into Sam and Max, I don't think it'd be beyond their powers to create a new classic.