It seems Telltale’s engine, the “Telltale Tool”, is being retired

Posted on June 28, 2018

It’s fair to say that Telltale Games have done a lot to affect the course of the video game industry. Founded in July 2004 Telltale knew they had to find their own space, and with it, they needed an engine to call their own. It was in the company’s early days that the “Telltale Tool” was born and used to make their first release, Telltale Texas Hold’em. This engine would go on to power the kind of game Telltale is known for these days, licensed properties, episodic, moral choices, “this character will remember that”, and oh boy quick time events.

It’s fair to say that Telltale, with a back catalog of great games, have been seeing a bit of a downturn as of late. It’s fair enough, the games produced are pretty similar these days and there’s been no real way to improve on the formula. As good as the Telltale Tool may be it is 14 years old, ancient by game industry standards. It’s time for a change. Luckily, Telltale seems to feel the same way.

The games made in the Telltale Tool


Multiple sources say there are some changes on the horizon. Walking Dead: The Final Season, showed off at the PC Gaming Show at E3, will be the final title using the Telltale Tool. Instead, Telltale will reportedly be moving to the well-known, and well-loved, Unity Engine. Makes sense, given that some time ago Telltale had a job listing for a Senior Unity Gameplay Engineer. So the next titles set to be developed, a Stranger Things game, and Wolf Among Us Season 2, will be created using the Unity Engine.

It wasn’t so long ago that Telltale was in troubled waters. Following leadership reshuffles though it seems they are prepared to put work into changing up the formula, which is very exciting. It’s very easy to see a winning formula and cling to it, you can easily make more money from more games with an efficient programming structure.  Eventually however though you have to innovate and branch out from whats safe to create new experiences that can recapture the imagination of gamers. Telltale has not only influenced narratives in games but the whole concept of player choice in games, we can only wait to see how this new chapter will unfold for an extremely well loved name in the industry.