Having recently risen from its untimely grave, the PC release of Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season's final two episodes will be exclusively available on the newly minted Epic Games Store. Having rescued the half-finished conclusion to the late Telltale Games' interactive take on The Walking Dead from oblivion, Skybound Games (a division of Skybound Entertainment, the publisher of The Walking Dead comic) is bringing Episodes 3 and 4 to PC exclusively via Epic Games' new digital marketplace, in addition to the planned PS4, Xbox One, and Switch releases.
When Telltale Games, known best for their licensed interactive games like The Walking Dead, Batman, and Game of Thrones, went belly-up this year, Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season was mid-development and mid-release, having already put out Episodes 1 and 2 of the series' final entry. In one fell swoop, Telltale Games' bankruptcy left the fates of their licensed series, including The Walking Dead, Batman, The Wolf Among Us, and others, in utter uncertainty. Luckily, the Walking Dead series was ensured to receive its long-awaited conclusion when creator of The Walking Dead comic Robert Kirkland announced at New York Comic Con that Skybound Games would complete and release The Final Season's remaining episodes, in conjunction with a number of listless Telltale employees who were blindsided by their former employer's sudden closure.
In a December 20 press release, Skybound Games announced their exclusive partnership with Epic Games in the digital distribution of Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season on PC. Excitedly stating that the "team at Epic owns a major chapter in the history of the game industry," Skybound commends Epic for being there in The Final Season's hour of need "to bring the original team back together and ensure fans will receive the completed season." The written announcement was accompanied by a video Q&A starring none other than Melissa Hutchison, the voice actress of series protagonist Clementine. Both the write-up and video work to immediately allay past buyers' fears of having to repurchase The Final Season or either of its first two episodes, reassuring players that their purchases on other PC platforms will still be recognized when Episodes 3 and 4 release.
The video goes into deeper detail, answering a compilation of reasonably apprehensive fans' most frequently asked questions. In a rapid-fire session, Hutchison confirms on behalf of Skybound that previously downloaded versions of Telltale's The Walking Dead Seasons 1-3 will permanently remain untouched and playable, relays that potential physical release(s) of the latest game will be announced by Skybound as soon as possible, and establishes that choices made in previous seasons are "currently" planned to carry over into The Final Season, so long as those choices are retrievable via local or cloud saves. This is all great news for fans of Telltale's games, but sandwiched amidst it all was a heartbreaking (but unsurprising) confirmation when Hutchison apologetically stated, "We aren’t currently involved in any games outside The Walking Dead."
While its unquestionable that Telltale Games is still definitely in the wrong for the way it handled the abrupt shuttering of its doors, it should provide much solace that 40 or so of the original Telltale team that worked long hours to bring Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season to life are getting to see their hard work through to the bittersweet end. Skybound's dedication to bringing proper closure to both these laid-off employees and fans of The Walking Dead is commendable, and their decision to partner with the Epic Games Store is likely a smart one. On the new platform, Skybound stands to benefit from a more generous revenue share than Steam previously provided them and the Epic Games Store's small catalog will help The Final Season better stand out from the competition in the series' last go-around.
Source: Skybound Games