Several problems existed internally at Telltale, including rampant crunch across the studio and stifled creativity. One of the major factors behind Telltale’s limited risk-taking had to do with The Walking Dead’s success.
Bruner explained that The Walking Dead, an award-winning game that helped put the developer on the map worldwide, was a “double-edged sword” for the studio. It brought great success but also unreasonable expectations and a cookie-cutter approach for subsequent games.
You can read Bruner’s statement below.
“…as Telltale got bigger and more focused on mega-hit type things, basically, The Walking Dead was a double-edged sword. You can’t duplicate Game of the Year over and over again. We made a really great game, but there’s a lot of external factors that influence what is going to be Game of the Year in any particular year, like what other games are out there, and the environment that the game is going into. So there was a lot of pressure to duplicate The Walking Dead. Success-wise again, from a business requirements point of view.”
“We tried to temper those expectations as best we could, but it was still like, “This is what we need the company to do.” We needed to go out and find bigger games, just get bigger and bigger and bigger and that kind of squeezed out opportunities for Poker Night at the Inventory and Borderlands and weird stuff like that.”
Read the full interview with Bruner by heading here.