A number of former Telltale Games employees have formed a new development studio, AdHoc Studio, which will focus on narrative storytelling. It is the new team made of ex-Telltale developers that left the studio prior to its demise in September 2018.
Variety reports that AdHoc Studio was founded to carry “the interactive narrative torch into the future.” Michael Choung, Nick Herman, Dennis Lenart, and Pierre Shorette are those founders. Choung will serve as CEO and Herman will be COO. Choung left Telltale in 2016 when he went to work at Night School Studio, developers of Oxenfree and Afterparty. The other three left Telltale in February 2017 to work on an unannounced project at Ubisoft. Plans to start a new studio within Ubisoft didn’t plan out, and they contacted Choung to start an independent studio with him.
“Having to pitch something that ultimately 50 people need to understand and approve means a lot of the more adventurous or risky ideas often die early on for a bunch of different reason,” sad Lenart. “We liked the idea that if it was just the four of us, we’d be able to more confidently wade into unfamiliar water.”
Telltale, where each of them had worked for a number of years, was wary to work on new ideas. The company had a longstanding partnership with Netflix, although it took years for the fruits of their labor to pan out, according to Variety.
AdHoc is targeting the Bandersnatch audience, as Netflix’s interactive movie was quite successful. While the studio is not ready to discuss its first project, they did hint that it would be an interactive, live-action experience. Whether it will skew closer to Bandersnatch or towards something like Her Story, is unknown.
Telltale Games laid off the majority of its staff in September 2018 as part of a “majority studio closure.” Skybound Games picked up The Walking Dead: The Final Season and hired a number of former Telltale employees to finish the series.