Back in February I cracked a joke about how The Walking Dead has been milked repeatedly for additional content; the TV show, the TV show about the TV show, the Game, the TV show about the game. Well now there is going to be another game, this time a first person shooter because, you know, we can’t have a zombie franchise without an FPS in there somewhere. I had thought that Telltale’s game and the webseries that previewed it would have been the last morsels squeezed from the undead franchise. Boy was I wrong. Apparently there’s always room for another shooter, at least if Activision has anything to say about it. They may as well just go ahead and make a game for every character like Dr. Jenner’s CDC Lab Simulator or Where’s Carl? The Hiding Game. The possibilities are endless.
The game is being developed by Terminal Reality makers of Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Kinect Star Wars. While I didn’t play Kinect Star Wars I did enjoy my time with Ghostbusters and felt the game worked within the IP well. As such the studio may be equipped to create a good or even great game within The Walking Dead brand, but that isn’t really the issue. The issue is that this is all an attempt to squeeze as much money out of an IP as possible by luring fans of the series into purchasing another game.
Make no mistake the trailer isn’t for gamers, well it is, but it’s aimed at fans of the series more than anything. To start off there’s no gameplay in their trailer, nothing at all that tells me as a player what the game is going to offer me. They’ve chosen to use fan favorite Daryl Dixon as the game’s protagonist along with his awful and unbearable brother, Merle, another choice designed to capitalize on the existing market. What better way to gain the attention of existing fans than to use existing characters.
I know what you’re going to say, “Yeah but Telltale made a game too,” and you’re right they did, but it’s different. Telltale’s game features a completely new character as a protagonist, and has a story that doesn’t rely on existing characters for support. Sure they occupy the same IP, but Telltale’s game has its own legs to stand on within the comic’s canon, this new shooter looks like it will rely heavily on the existing work from the show, ignoring the comic all together.
As a fan of The Walking Dead I find the constant degradation and convolution of the story a real bummer. I know they can make whatever they feel like, but I can’t help but think they’re ruining the story by retroactively adding characters, events, history, etc. all in the hopes of making more money, which they will I’m sure. I’m all for new content within an IP, but only when creativity drives content, not greed.