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The Walking Dead sells 8.5 million episodes

November and December sales boost pushes episodic series to new heights

Telltale Games' critically lauded The Walking Dead has now sold more than 8.5 million episodes, thanks to a large upswing in public interest at the end of the year.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Telltale CEO Dan Connors claimed that November and December 2012 were the series' biggest months in terms of sales, proving the unique strengths of the episodic model when applied to a licensed property.

""It was the culmination of the product, the game of the year awards, the retail push, and it still has a ton of head room in it," he said. "Apple has featured us a bunch of times for each of the episodes, and it's in Apple's Hall of Fame."

"we have all this momentum and recognition from the five months leading up to the Christmas launch. Then the finale happens, and bam, it's picked up by a much wider spread"

While the series' iOS sales only comprised 25 per cent of the total, mobile also showed the largest growth when compared to the company's previous releases. Mobile was also more reactive to interest in the TV show, the second season of which aired as the game episodes were being released.

"What we've done is have this online buzz going from April to November, and then have this finale to top it off and have that be the biggest event that propels it into the mass market," Connors added. "It allowed us to capture all that early adopter audience but also gives us the momentum to build a product that can reach out to the mass.

"Instead of paying a bunch of money to drive a bunch of installs, we have all this momentum and recognition that comes from all the work we've done over the five months leading up to the Christmas launch. Then the finale happens, and bam, it's picked up by a much wider spread."

The Walking Dead was Telltale's most expensive project to date, costing around 40 per cent more than a typical episodic project. At the time of writing, the game's average revenue per user is around $16.

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Latest comments (12)

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters3 years ago
I don't get what 8.5 million episodes means. It has 5 episodes but I only bought the game once. As each episode becomes available it just automatically appears in the game, you don't have to pay any more.
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Jamie Read 3D Artist, Neon Play Ltd3 years ago
I think they are treating them as separate episodes i.e.: if you paid for the 'season pass' as I did, that accounts for 5 episodes sold (as there is five episodes in the series). Some people may have only bought one to see what it was like and not bought any more after that.
Anyway, well deserved, it is a very good game.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters3 years ago
I didn't know you could buy individual episodes. On Steam the only option I was given was to buy the entire game. I assume this was on other platforms.
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Show all comments (12)
Matthew Handrahan European Deputy Editor, GamesIndustry.biz3 years ago
@Jamie: That's the impression that I got. I'm not sure whether they're counting downloads of the free first episode as part of that figure, but from Connors' phrasing I don't think so. if it's accurate, the game has earned around $40 million in revenue, based on the average price-point across all platforms.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 3 years ago
Loved this game. Only the ending annoyed me. Especially as I saw the trap and still got forced to trip it (everyone who's finished the game will know what I mean). I even clicked on the board and not the walkie! I knew damned it I knew!
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent3 years ago
My congratulations to Telltale. This is richly deserved.
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I've been a bit late to the party and just finished it yesterday. Well deserved indeed!
(p.s. I had to buy the episodes seperately on Xbox, didn't find a season pass. And the first episode was free.)
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent3 years ago
I did it on iPad, Laurens. Controversy!
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You mobile gamers aren't real gamers! ;)

I tried it on my iPad 1, but it was absolutely unplayable, if it booted at all. No fault to Telltale though, Apple should really start allowing to only release on certain devices. Hell, I can't even browse GamesIndustry.biz anymore without it crashing every few minutes. In any case, be wary, iPad 2 and up!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Laurens Bruins on 7th January 2013 2:18pm

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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers3 years ago
Great game experience, and it's wonderful that it's on so many platforms. The acclaim is richly deserved.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
I bought it in the Steam sale. I think I paid $12. I'm only nearing the end of the first episode but so far it's great. Very unique experience.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
I got the first episode free on XBL and loved every minute of it. I will soon be getting the retail release of all 5 episodes.
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