Telltale alumni team up to form Ad-hoc Studios

Four Telltale alumni have united to form the new studio, AdHoc.

Michael Choung, Dennis Lenart, Nick Herman, and Pierre Shorette all departed Telltale before it closed down in September 2018, but now the foursome – who all have experience working in television and film as well as video games – have banded together to develop choice-driven narrative games inspired by the Black Mirror’s live-action interactive Netflix show, Bandersnatch, under their own banner, Adhoc Studios.

"It feels like we’re at the precipice of a big shift in how we consume media where the lines between film, television and games are starting to blur," Shorette, AdHoc’s chief creative officer, said in an interview with Variety (thanks, PC Gamer). "With streaming platforms in our homes and cell phones in our pockets we’re in this unique time where the barrier to entry to interaction is gone. So as a group of people whose expertise and experience has come from making Interactive Narrative that sits in that space between, we feel now is the perfect time to form a studio that focuses on creating content for a new space."

"Making interactive experiences with real actors on the screen is something we’ve always talked about," Shorette added. "We all have backgrounds and interest in film and television, so combining that with our experience in games is something we’re exploring right now."

"It seems to have scratched an itch that people didn’t quite know that they had," said Herman, talking about Netflix’s Bandersnatch show. "That’s really exciting, and what we want to do is to make clear that live-action interactive isn’t a novelty, it’s unexplored territory that can be both creatively and commercially viable."

Telltale Games laid off the majority of its staff in a ‘majority studio closure’ back in September. 25 employees remained at the company, though most projects have reportedly been cancelled, and subsequent reports suggest even the skeleton crew have now been let go. The layoffs were confirmed via a tweet on the official Telltale Games account, blaming a year ‘marked by insurmountable challenges’ for the decision.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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