Speaking in an interview with GameSpot, Telltale CEO Dan Connors has warned companies entering the episodic model to be persistent.
Telltale started down the path of episodic content at around the same time that Valve and Ritual did, but Connors believes that they gave up on the concept too soon: "Valve and Ritual made a lot of the mistakes we did early on," Connors said.
"But we stuck to our guns and kept going, while they had so many other things going on at the same time. They bailed out a little earlier. We were all in it together then they dropped off."
The studio had a hard time with its first episodic title, Bone – not only did it not manage a monthly production schedule, seeing two installments in seven months, but it also didn’t perform as well as hoped. But it was persistence, and the value of the Sam and Max franchise, that helped the studio get its footing.
But, says Connors, going from experience at this year’s GDC, episodic gaming is finally becoming a more popular trend amongst developers. "Every other year we’ve been [at GDC] it was talking about the future of episodic gaming," he said.
"This year Hothead was there, and a couple other companies trying to get started in it were bumping into real, tangible issues, and they sounded so familiar to us."
Now that the preliminary issues have been largely overcome – price point, episode length, expected revenues – Connors also revealed that Telltale is currently working on four ‘series’, three of which are planned for release this year on a monthly basis.