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Telltale: Consoles make up 40% of our audience

Dan Connors explains how non-PC platforms are bringing new audiences to episodic gaming

Telltale CEO Dan Connors has revealed to GamesIndustry.biz that sales on the downloadable console platforms - XBLA, PSN and WiiWare - are making up around 40 per cent of the company's total, while they're also raising awareness of the options for episodic gaming with a whole new audience.

Telltale, which pioneered the successful use of online, episodic games with the likes of Sam & Max - and more recently Monkey Island - is seeing its business grow, but Connors also noted there were some challenges with not owning the platforms themselves, and therefore the messaging.

"We generally launch with one console partner during the run of the season, and usually does about 40 per cent of the revenue," he explained. "They have big audiences there - they're all gamers, and they're all used to spending money on games. Compare that to online, where it gets noisy - Steam for us is an incredibly effective channel, and so is TelltaleGames.com, but the console channels are probably equal to those," he added.

"I believe the console gamers are generally not familiar with our stuff - there's a lot more education to do there. Because we haven't had the same flexibility in pricing models and things like that, on WiiWare we've been selling single episodes. That exercise of getting users to come back every month and repurchase, without having them buy into the full-price subscription, has been a challenge for us."

But he also explained that working on consoles had given the Telltale team a greater level of experience, and enabled them to adapt to new ways of thinking.

"I think the great thing for us is that we are talking to new customers, we are exposing them to Telltale Games, and our own internal engine - the way we do things - is getting calibrated to a console experience," he said. "That's very positive for us as we continue to go out and reach new audiences.

"I think the type of games that we make have always been very PC-centric - so we're not only introducing a business model proposition to people - the way they play the game in episodic - but also a genre that is basically old-but-new on those platforms as well.

"But it's good - it's pushing us, we're evolving in the genre, and we've always wanted to get to a storytelling engine that was console-friendly and engaging, and would pull people through. It's exciting, especially seeing Uncharted 2 and Heavy Rain have so much success."

The full interview with Dan Connors is available now.

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