With Telltale Games as good as gone, there remain few, if any, true dedicated narrative adventure game studios. But a group of Telltale veterans have assembled a brand new studio that may in some ways be able to carry on that legacy.
As reported by Variety, AdHoc Studio has been formed by four ex-Telltale developers in the following respective roles: CEO Michael Choung, COO Nick Herman, CTO Dennis Lenart, and CCO Pierre Shorette. Herman, Lenart, and Shorette all left Telltale in February 2017 to join Ubisoft for an unknown project, while Choung departed earlier in 2016 for a stint at Night School Studio before rejoining the others to form AdHoc. All four held creative or writing roles while at Telltale.
While the group has plenty of experience with narrative games from Telltale, they're also looking at examples such as Netflix's interactive Black Mirror episode "Bandersnatch" for inspiration on how to proceed and don't want to remain stuck in Telltale's particular variety of "choice-based" play so much as they want to offer emotional experiences.
"It feels like we're at the precipice of a big shift in how we consume media where the lines between film, television and games are starting to blur," Shorette told Variety. "With streaming platforms in our homes and cell phones in our pockets we're in this unique time where the barrier to entry to interaction is gone. So as a group of people whose expertise and experience has come from making interactive narrative that sits in that space between, we feel now is the perfect time to form a studio that focuses on creating content for a new space."
Choung said that the new ground plowed by Bandersnatch offers a chance for teams like AdHoc to be on the forefront of what's coming next for narrative gaming, and hinted at an upcoming partnership for its first project that would help them get there.
The four AdHoc founders left before Telltale's ultimate breakdown and have said little about their time at the studio, though Choung did note that one thing his studio would do differently was put a focus on "recognizing, empowering, and ultimately retaining creative talent."
Team looks to past narrative experience as well as the popularity of "Bandersnatch" for upcoming, unannounced project