The lead team members of LucasArts’ recently cancelled Sam & Max: Freelance Police have left the publisher and developer to form their own company, named Telltale Games. With most of LucasArts’ senior developers from the company’s halcyon adventure days, already gone, the loss of Dan Connors, Kevin Bruner and Troy Molander, alongside other key LucasArts personnel, make it even less likely that company will ever again attempt a traditional graphic adventure.
The trio’s stated goal, according to an interview with consumer site GameSpot, is to “reenergize” the adventure game market, with the decision to start the new company apparently coming about after the fan outrage following LucasArts' cancellation of Sam & Max: Freelance Police in March. Since then, LucasArts has also trimmed the majority of its San Rafael development staff, with rumors indicating at least some game development will be conducted in the new LucasFilm Singapore office.
The company intends to create games based on popular licenses, in order to attract more casual customers, and although there has been no indication which licenses are being pursuing, it has been strongly implied that Sam & Max is amongst them. The characters are not owned or created by LucasArts, as many assume, due to regular cameo appearances in unrelated games, but are in fact based on a comic book by sometime LucasArts and current Pixar artist Steve Purcell.