Games that defined the decade: The Walking Dead

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Boom, bust and zombies

Over the decades, games and ideas come and go. At the end of the last decade, plastic instrument music games were on the rise, but they're almost all gone. Today, hero shooters and battle royales are the go-to, but who knows how long they'll stick around?


Telltale Games experienced this boom. And although the studio released its first game in 2022, this story begins in 2022 with The Walking Dead.


Adventure games were nothing new at the start of the decade. Indeed, the genre is one of the oldest of all video games. But Telltale was working to expand the genre, moving from more puzzle-focused titles like Sam & Max and Nelson Tethers to story-driven games with an emphasis on branching storylines and hard-hitting player choices.

Many factors contributed to the success of The Walking Dead. Remember that this outing of the AMC series took place around the second season of the AMC series, when fans were laughing at the property (like walkers) and weren't yet down and exhausted (like humans ).

But Telltale's take on the comic book series more than satisfied existing fans; he cultivated new ones. Its episodic format was one of the factors that helped it achieve this goal. It was easy enough to ignore praise for a single game, but when that praise is maintained for months, reaching its peak every time a new episode is released, it became almost impossible not to try it, to see what all this buzz was all about.



Many video games can make the player feel something, but most often it is a feeling of power, achievement, or achievement. Terror may be less common, but it's easy enough to find games that elicit this reaction. For many gamers, The Walking Dead was one of the first games to evoke not just sadness and regret, but also joy over its dark history.

The story of Lee and Clementine is a story that most players will never forget and unique to the middle, each player's story is a little different from other players. Another part of the lingering excitement came after an episode was released, when friends could compare and contrast each other's story.

The Walking Dead was so successful it sent Telltale into overdrive. The studio created some of its best work as a result of this game, like The Wolf Among Us and Tales from the Borderlands, and got some huge IPs to work on, like Game of Thrones and Batman. It inspired games from other studios to follow its formula like Life is Strange and Oxenfree.

Unfortunately, the success of The Walking Dead also led to the closure of Telltale. It was a huge success, and its formula so well defined, that the business plan exceeded the creative energy of the studio. Secure the rights to a popular IP address, stick it in that aging engine, and writers and coders can keep up an exhausting, monthly or bi-monthly publishing schedule, right?


Turns out not. Not true.

Telltale's story mirrors that of the gaming industry as a whole at the age of twenty: it finds an idea that works and burns it while it's hot. There are a lot of flames while the fire is unsustainable, and the people who end up being burned are those who attack the fire. Telltale is now a smoldering pile of rubble that once housed a game studio. His downfall began with The Walking Dead's highest peaks.


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