Lionsgate Studios – producers of The Hunger Games, Mad Men and others – have apparently made a “significant” investment in Telltale Games, with an aim of extending of their licences into the games market while, “…bring[ing] Lionsgate’s expertise in creating and marketing premium content to Telltale’s unique narrative-driven, storytelling approach to gaming,” which sounds kind of ominous but we are talking about the company that produced Saw.
I’ll spare you the overweening press release where Lionsgate and Telltale take turns patting each other on the back, but one of the more interesting developments to come out of the partnership is something Telltale Games’ CEO Kevin Bruner is describing as the “Super Show”.
“A ‘Super Show’ episode combines one part of interactive playable content with one part of scripted television style content. Both pieces, when combined together, are what make an actual Super Show episode,” explains Bruner in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The idea is that a Super Show is that the scripted episode and the interactive portion will be tightly interwoven and have direct consequences for each other depending on the order you approach them. So, for example, watching the scripted episode will result in the interactive portion playing differently to if you started with the interactive portion first, which would then fold in choices you’ve made during that section to the scripted episode.
The first Super Show will be an original IP, with Bruner stressing that any Super Show will likely need to be, “owned or co-owned” by Telltale and Lionsgate to be most effective. Those concerned that this means an end to Telltale’s signature episodic content need can rest at ease knowing that they intend to keep that format, with Super Shows merely being added to the possible options.
Honestly, it’s kind of exciting. It has echoes of Quantum Break, the Xbox One exclusive promising a similar melding of television episodes and gameplay, but Telltale’s pedigree makes the concept seem a more achievable goal.