The highly anticipated release of The Wolf Among Us 2 has been postponed beyond 2023, according to developer Telltale. In a tweet, the company confirmed the delay, citing a desire to avoid burnout and crunch. Additionally, they explained that the decision to shift development from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5 necessitated more time to deliver a polished final product. The sequel to the popular episodic narrative, based on Vertigo’s beloved graphic novel series called Fables, was initially announced at The Game Awards in 2019. However, the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have hindered progress.
It’s worth noting that the original Telltale Games filed for bankruptcy in 2018, resulting in significant layoffs and the cancellation of several planned releases, including The Wolf Among Us 2. However, LCG Entertainment acquired Telltale’s assets in 2019 and revived the company. Led by industry veterans and former developers behind successful titles like The Walking Dead and Batman: The Telltale Series, the studio embarked on their highly-anticipated project. Nevertheless, due to the nascent stage of the development team, it took approximately two years to fully staff the project. In an interview, CEO Jamie Ottilie admitted that announcing the title in 2019 appeared to be the right move, helping them secure funding and support. The teaser released at the time was created from scratch. However, in retrospect, Ottilie regrets the decision as the pandemic has since impeded progress and hindered hiring efforts.
Telltale recently made the strategic decision to transition to Unreal Engine 5. Ottilie revealed that the developers and artists, who had been working with Unreal Engine 4 for an extended period, believed that the newer features and capabilities of Unreal Engine 5 justified the effort required for the transition. Naturally, this decision resulted in significant reworking of the game. The team faced two options: either release an unfinished game or subject the staff to grueling crunch time. Ottilie rejected both options and made the difficult decision to delay the game beyond the previously planned 2023 release window.
In the interview, Ottilie stated, “I’ve experienced crunch before, and I don’t want to go through it again. It’s not fair to expect it from our team. You can’t build a business model on that. So, part of our focus is maintaining a healthy work culture and preventing burnout among our talented team. Over the past two years, COVID, labor market challenges, and industry growth have made it incredibly difficult to recruit the right individuals.” The development of The Wolf Among Us 2 involves collaboration with AdHoc Studio, comprising former Telltale Games employees.
Serving as a prequel to the Fables graphic novels, The Wolf Among Us 2 takes place six months after the events of the first game. Protagonist Bigby Wolf leads an investigation into a new mystery, which presumably involves Tin-Man and Scarecrow from ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ The game is set in a wintry New York covered in snow, with Snow White leading a new administration. Last year, the developers released a trailer that confirmed The Wolf Among Us 2 will intertwine the world and events of the Mundies (humans) and Fables (fairy tale characters).
Similar to previous Telltale Games entries, The Wolf Among Us 2 will be released in an episodic format, consisting of five episodes. However, unlike before, the developers have decided to delay the release until all episodes are ready to avoid the issues experienced under the older Telltale regime, where players had to wait for months between each new episode. This new development format ensures a steady pace of episode releases. It’s worth mentioning that the studio still plans to release The Expanse: A Telltale Series this year, a project developed in collaboration with Nine Deck Games.
The Wolf Among Us 2 is now expected to launch sometime in 2024.
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