Skybound Games CEO Ian Howe has reassured fans of Telltale's The Walking Dead that the third episode in its final season will be released this year.
Howe addressed those fans in a Reddit AMA last night, when he described himself as "just trying to help [The Final Season] get over the finish line."
Skybound, of course, emerged as the series' saviour earlier this month after the sudden and swift collapse of Telltale. However, that relief gave way to uncertainty, when it became clear that its attempts to reunite the original development team hadn't made much progress.
Understandably, that situation was very much the focus of the AMA, and Howe threw The Walking Dead's community one particularly tantalising bone. While he conceded that giving a truly accurate answer would be impossible until the dev team was in place and working on the game, he did offer a glimpse into how far along that process might be.
"Given that you guys have been so supportive and patient, I'm going out on a limb and will say, yes, I fully expect Episode 3 to be this year and I'll be very disappointed if we can't make that happen," he said, while also mentioning that "there is no reason for us to hold that information [on dates] back."
"Even if some of the team are still looking for a job, that doesn't automatically mean that they want to come back"
In terms of getting The Walking Dead team back together, Howe made it clear that Skybound is not asking any of them to relocate from the Bay Area, where Telltale is based, to its own offices in Los Angeles. Instead, a location will be found that will suit the practical realities of getting to work each day.
The difficulty in reuniting the team, Howe said, is in how quickly some of them had moved on, and yet Howe met with more than 40 of them last week to discuss Skybound's plans.
"Quite simply, some of the team have already been offered new opportunities (which is a really good thing) so we're still figuring out who is available and who isn't," he said.
"It's our absolute intention to complete this story with the people who have bought it this far. We're only going to look outside of that group in situations where we have no other choice, which hopefully will be not be too often.
"The other thing to consider is even if some of the team are still looking for a job, that doesn't automatically mean that they want to come back. These guys have put a huge amount of emotion into this series and they've been through a tough couple of weeks.
"It would be completely understandable if that meant some of the team have reservations about coming back to finish the game."
He added: "As soon as the lawyers have done their thing, we'll be able to speak more openly."