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New Telltale IP may be built for streaming services

Acclaimed studio may also develop something for VR, but warns it has more immediate projects

Telltale has confirmed it is still working on a new IP, and hints that it might come to platforms the developer has not previously dabbled in.

In an interview with Gamespot, head of communications Job Stauffer promised that the studio known for episodic adventures based on films and TV series does still intend to produce a non-licensed outing. But it might not take the same format as Telltale's current catalogue.

"I think the landscape of what's possible in digital interactive media, particularly the streaming environment, and quite frankly the VR space, is very exciting," he said.

"And while there is nothing to announce right now, I think you can look forward [to a Telltale new IP] further on in the future. Yes, it's still something we very much have in our minds."

It goes without saying that virtual reality would be an interesting direction for Telltale, particularly given that the studio's games are primarily third-person and switch between multiple perspectives - something which could be jarring for VR players.

However, it's the mention of streaming that piques our interest. At the risk of speculating, streaming platforms have been finding new ways for developers to introduce interactivity for viewers into their games - and Telltale's titles could be a smart fit.

Leading service Twitch has close ties with the team behind the Lumberyard engine - with both firms owned by Amazon - with tools like ChatPlay enabling games where livestream audiences can spawn power-ups or trigger changes in the game environment. Microsoft has promised similar interactivity from its new streaming service Mixer. With Telltale's titles, this could translate to audiences working through an adventure co-operatively.

Meanwhile, Sony announced its new PlayLink range earlier this week: PS4 titles that require smartphone input and are designed to be played in groups. Supermassive Games is currently building a crime thriller Hidden Agenda, which will see multiple players voting on the action the characters should take next - something that would also translate well to Telltale's particularly brand of choice-driven gameplay.

Notions such as this also bring to mind a partnership Telltale entered with film and TV production firm Lionsgate back in 2015. The two firms announced they were working on a new IP that would be developed into both a video game and TV series, with CEO Kevin Bruner referring this as a new "super show" format.

At the time, Bruner told GamesIndustry.biz that Telltale's new IP was "probably the most ambitious thing the company has ever done."

It's not clear whether the new IP Stauffer is referring to is the same project, but he warns that Telltale is unlikely to announce anything or give more details any time soon.

"An original, new IP is definitely still in our future," he told GameSpot. "It may not be as immediate as the next few things we have coming up. We haven't been able to say a lot about it in the last few years."

Telltale is currently working on a number of episodic adventure games including Guardians of the Galaxy and the second seasons of Minecraft: Story Mode and Game of Thrones. Rumours also persist of a James Bond adventure, entitled Solstice.

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