Telltale Games has proclaimed that the long-awaited sequel to 'The Wolf Among Us' is being rescheduled from 2023 to evade crunch and staff fatigue, as well as to enable the move from Unreal Engine 4 to 5.
Talking to IGN, Telltale Games CEO Jamie Ottilie stated that the team decided on this for a variety of reasons, but above all to steer clear of burnout and to keep from releasing a game that is not complete. He noted: Developing games is tricky and they need to be done right. It would not do any of us any favors to ship something that isn't ready.
Additionally, Ottilie explained the choice to transition from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal 5 is a result of the appealing characteristics that enticed many of his team's engineers and artists. He acknowledged, however, that the alteration necessitates a rewrite of the work completed in Unreal 4.
Taking all this into account, Ottilie said the only two options to make the 2023 release window were either to ship something unfinished, which was not going to happen at all: if we put out a game that wasn't ready, we would be harshly criticized. Our expectations are high, so we need time to meet them, and to be confident that 'this is the best game we could have made.' We will face the public opinion when it's done, but at least we can feel sure that we did our best with the time and conditions we had.
An alternate solution would be to crunch - an issue that was reportedly an obstacle for the original Telltale Games before it was closed down. Ottilie is adamant that their version of Telltale would not take this route.
He expressed to IGN: "I don't want to do it again, and it's not fair to ask it. You can't plan a business around it. Consequently, it is about upholding a healthy work culture. We don't want to exhaust our staff. It has been very difficult to hire the past two years due to COVID and the games industry's expansion. For that reason, it is wrong to wear down our employees and it's not how you make a business. Unfortunately, our industry is wretched in this regard. We deplete our people. We deplete our best people even faster. If we want to keep developing, we must put an end to it. We must make superior decisions."
At the end of 2019, Telltale Games made public their plans for 'The Wolf Among Us 2'. Meanwhile, they are preparing to launch their version of 'The Expanse' some time this year, and they have another game in very early production, the specifics of which have yet to be revealed.