Telltale Games ended up closing down before the studio could complete the final two episodes for the final season of The Walking Dead. Well, after the series was rescued by Skybound Entertainment, the final two episodes will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store.
Game Informer is reporting that the final two episodes for The Walking Dead: The Final Season will be released exclusively through the Epic Games Store because Epic Games has stepped in to help with the distribution. This is being done in collaboration with Skybound Entertainment, who also stepped in to pick up the production costs for the final two episodes as well. This could be a huge blow to Steam depending on how many people decide to move over to the Epic Games Store just to get their hands on the final episodes of the long-running series. Alternatively, the whole thing could backfire and a lot of loyalists to Steam could miss out on those final two episodes because they don't want to switch from Steam to the Epic Games Store.
On the upside, if you've already purchased the season pass on PC, PS4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch, you'll still have access to the final two episodes for the game, as Epic and Skybound will honor those who purchased the season pass. However, as noted by Game Informer, if you have not purchased the season pass then you'll have to purchase the final two episodes through the Epic Games Store.
Originally Telltale Games shut down back in September after a deal fell through where the company was supposed to receive backing from AMC and SmileGate but at the last minute the deals fell apart and both companies backed out. Telltale lost all its funding and could no longer operate. This took place right around the same time as The Walking Dead: The Final Season's second episode was being released. However, the final two episodes could not be released because everyone at Telltale was let go.
After some time, Skybound Entertainment, the original IP owners of The Walking Dead brand, stepped in and announced that some of the original designers who worked on The Walking Dead at Telltale were being brought back in to finish up the final two episodes.
As mentioned in the Game Informer article, Skybound also received help from Epic Games to get the original team back together and finish off the final season.
The article doesn't exactly say how much influence or to what extent Epic's role is played in the collaboration of bringing the game to its finality. However, Epic Games has built up a massive amount of capital through its massive success that is Fortnite.
The free-to-play Battle Royale game has managed to become a billion-dollar property for Epic and the company decided that instead of just sitting on a ton of cash, it would reinvest in building out its own digital distribution store; retroactively discounting developers on the distribution percentages of assets sold through the Unreal Engine 4 asset store; and helping out some developers get their projects finished... like The Walking Dead: The Final Season.
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