Telltale, it's time to start communicating with your fans.
I want to start out by saying that this is not a hate thread, it's a suggestion thread that I think many people will agree with. As we all know, Telltale started Wolf Among Us in October. It was assumed by many that TWDS2 would be in November and WAU would continue in December, with them alternating months. Instead, we got TWD in December. Great, it was really good. But still no word on Wolf Among Us.
Then we hear towards the end of December that the next episode of WAU is almost done and we will get information after the New Year. First 2 weeks of January, nothing. Now today, January 14 - considered by many at this point to be mid January - we finally get a release date for the first week of February.
It's easy to assume by many that both The Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us were delayed multiple times during their developments. That was basically confirmed in today's announcement, though details were left out. It's also easy for the community to make the connection and assume that Telltale has had to delay The Walking Dead S2 and Wolf Among Us due to the development of Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands starting.
Is this true? We don't know. Telltale doesn't release details. So I'm writing this with the hope that a higher up at Telltale is paying attention to these forums. Telltale, since discovering you with TWD S1 I have loved everything you put out. Some of my most entertaining gaming moments of 2013 are in 400 Days and the first episode of TWD2 and WAU. That being said, your PR sucks. Big time.
You have fans threatening to never buy a season pass again. You have fans accusing you of biting off more than you can chew, trying to develop 4 series at the same time. Is this true? Probably not. I don't think from a business perspective Telltale would take on so many projects if they didn't think they could handle it. Though it's hard to not ask questions and make assumptions when we know absolutely nothing about these projects.
And before people say that the game developers have no business sharing development information with their fans - let me say that Telltale is an exception. They specialize in episodic content released periodically, which means that we play as they develop, and fan feedback guides them on where to go next.
So Telltale, as fans whose feedback is a vital part of the development process, we ask that you communicate more freely with the community. We pay for an entire season when episodes have yet to be made because we trust you to deliver on your promise. But so far the communication between fans and developers has been a one way street, with fans giving money and feedback to guide development while the developers themselves keep us on our toes.
So here's what I suggest: Give us a monthly update about where things are at in the studio. Starting in February, just make a blog post telling us what you guys have been up to. How development on the next episode of every current ongoing series is going. Use it to make announcements such as possible delays or to post new teasers and trailers. Use it to announce release dates instead of dropping us with a release date a week before it happens. Build some hype. Maybe have some video interviews with some developers about how response from the last episode will be going into the next one, or just anything really. Communicating with the fans about the active development will make a lot of us very happy.
When we buy a season pass, we know we aren't getting it all in one piece. But we also want to be able to see how our money is being used to put the rest of the pieces together. Telltale, I love your games. That is not the issue here. The issue is communication with the fans, and communicating more will build more hype around your games and also throw a lot of good PR in your direction.
Hopefully others will agree with me, and hopefully this makes it to the eyes of the higher ups over at Telltale and they seriously consider what I suggested.
Whether or not they go with the monthly update idea, just know that from now on: Silence is not a valid option.