Putting together the sequel to The Wolf Among Us is proving much more difficult than originally anticipated for Telltale Games. On Wednesday, the team announced that The Wolf Among Us 2 will not make its projected 2023 release. The game does not have an estimated release window, but Telltale Games CEO Jamie Ottilie notes that the team will take its time without resorting to crunch.
"I've done [crunch], and I don't want to do it again, and it's not fair to ask it," Ottilie said to IGN. "You can't plan a business around it. So yeah, part of it is about maintaining a healthy work culture. We don't want to burn out our good people. It has been incredibly difficult to recruit the last two years between COVID and the labor markets and the growth in the games industry. So certainly, burning people out or grinding them down is the wrong thing to do long-term. It's not how you build a business. And as an industry, we're terrible about it. We burn our people out. We burn our best people out faster. And as an industry, if we're going to continue to grow, we have to stop it. We just have to stop doing it and make better choices."
It has been a long, long road for The Wolf Among Us 2. It was originally revealed back at The Game Awards 2019. Months after it was announced, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and shifted the industry on its head. The game resurfaced in February 2022, seemingly pointing to a 2023 release. However, a few shifts and pivots have affected the game's development, chief among them being Telltale's decision to switch the game to Unreal Engine 5. According to the IGN report, the Telltale team has seen enough improvements and new features in Unreal Engine 5 that they have felt it is worth reworking portions of the game that were previously completed.
While The Wolf Among Us 2 was announced in 2019, the journey to this point has been much longer, going back to Telltale's initial closure in 2018 before resurfacing under new leadership. We'll continue to follow this story as it develops. As we've noted several times in the past, The Wolf Among Us 2 has become worth waiting for.