Traveller's Tales

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Traveller's Tales
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
Founded1989; 33 years ago (1989)
Founders
Headquarters,
England
Key people
David Dootson (studio manager)
Products
ParentTT Games (2005–present)

Traveller's Tales is a British video game developer and a subsidiary of TT Games. Traveller's Tales was founded in 1989 by Jon Burton and Andy Ingram. Initially a small company focused on its own content, it grew in profile through developing games with larger companies such as Sega and Disney Interactive Studios. In 2004, development on Lego Star Wars: The Video Game started with Giant Interactive Entertainment, the exclusive rights holder to Lego video games. Traveller's Tales bought the company in 2005, and the two merged to create TT Games, with Traveller's Tales becoming the new company's development arm.[1][2]

History[edit]

Founding and work with Sega (1995–2007)[edit]

Traveller's Tales started developing games with Psygnosis, which were most notable for creating 3D effects. Their first game was Leander, also known as The Legend of Galahad.[3] With Psygnosis they developed a video game adaption of Bram Stoker's Dracula, as well as other original productions like Puggsy. Thanks to an agreement between Psygnosis, Sony Imagesoft and Disney Interactive Studios, Traveller's Tales could produce several games based on Disney's properties, such as the Mickey Mouse game Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse and other games based on Pixar movies like Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue and Finding Nemo (the latter two thanks to agreements with Activision and THQ).

However, Traveller's Tales was best known in the 1990s and early 2000s for their second-party collaboration with Sega to develop games based on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, resulting in Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R, which were produced in close effort with Sega's Sonic Team. Both games were regarded as technical achievements in the Mega Drive (Sonic 3D Blast) and the Sega Saturn (Sonic R), adding to the high-tech development status they already had with games like Puggsy, Mickey Mania and Toy Story. They were also responsible for Crash Twinsanity, under the Vivendi label.

They developed Lego Star Wars: The Video Game as well as its follow-ups. Outside of the Lego games, their work includes the franchise Crash Bandicoot, The Chronicles of Narnia, Super Monkey Ball Adventure, and World Rally Championship and F1 Grand Prix for the PlayStation Portable.

Warner acquisition and Lego titles (2007–present)[edit]

The company was purchased by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment at the end of 8 November 2007,[4] but continued to operate independently. Following the release of Prince Caspian (2008), Traveller's Tales would work exclusively on Lego titles – though other TT subsidiaries such as TT Fusion continued to use other IP until the early 2010s. While some of the early Lego titles would be published by LucasArts, from 2011 Warner would also act as the studio's exclusive publisher.[5]

In 2015, Traveller's Tales entered the toys-to-life business with Lego Dimensions, which used a toy pad to enter physical Lego minifigures and Lego models into the game, as well as interact with gameplay. The game included existing Lego themes like DC Comics, The Lego Movie and Lord of the Rings, as well as completely new properties such as Portal 2 and Wizard of Oz. The game was discontinued in October 2017.[6]

Traveller's Tales has won two BAFTAs, one for Gameplay with Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, and one for Children's Videogame of the Year for Lego Batman: The Videogame.[7][8]

On 20 January 2022, a report published by Polygon detailed the amount of crunch that occurred at the studio during the development of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, including dozens inside the company being at odds with management, due to expressing frustration over tight development schedules, the company’s crunch culture, and outdated development tools. In addition, the use of NTT (a new in-house engine that was being developed to replace Traveller's Tales' previous engine in attempt to avoid paying royalties for using a third-party engine like Unreal Engine or Unity) was extremely controversial within the company, as many employees had been pushing to instead use Unreal Engine. NTT turned out to be incredibly difficult to use, with some animations taking hours more to produce than they would on the old engine. As a result, The Skywalker Saga would end up being the only game developed by Traveller's Tales to use NTT, with the company deciding to use Unreal Engine going forward for their future projects.[9]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Publisher(s) Platforms
1991 Leander Psygnosis Amiga, Atari ST, Sega Genesis
1993 Bram Stoker's Dracula Sony Imagesoft SNES, Sega Genesis
Puggsy Psygnosis Amiga, Sega Genesis, Sega CD
1994 Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse Sony Imagesoft/Sony Computer Entertainment Europe SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, PlayStation
1995 Toy Story Disney Interactive Sega Genesis, SNES, Windows
1996 Sonic 3D Blast Sega Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn
1997 Sonic R Sega Saturn, Windows
1998 Rascal Psygnosis PlayStation
A Bug's Life Sony Computer Entertainment/Activision PlayStation
1999 Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue Activision PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Windows, Mac
2000 Muppet RaceMania Midway Games/Sony Computer Entertainment Europe PlayStation
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Activision PlayStation, Dreamcast, Windows, Game Boy Color
2001 Toy Story Racer PlayStation
Weakest Link PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Windows
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex Vivendi Universal Games PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube
2002 Haven: Call of the King Midway Games PlayStation 2
2003 Finding Nemo THQ PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube
2004 Crash Twinsanity Vivendi Universal Games PlayStation 2, Xbox
2005 Lego Star Wars: The Video Game Eidos Interactive/Giant Interactive Entertainment PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, Windows, OS X
F1 Grand Prix Sony Computer Entertainment PlayStation Portable
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Buena Vista Games PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, Windows, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance
World Rally Championship Sony Computer Entertainment PlayStation Portable
2006 Super Monkey Ball Adventure Sega PlayStation 2, Gamecube, PlayStation Portable
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy LucasArts PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Gamecube, Windows, OS X
Bionicle Heroes Eidos Interactive PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Gamecube, Windows, Wii
2007 Transformers: The Game Activision PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii, PlayStation 2
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga LucasArts PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, OS X, Wii
2008 Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, OS X, Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable
Lego Batman: The Videogame Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Disney Interactive Studios PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS
2009 Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues LucasArts PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii
2010 Lego Harry Potter: Years 1–4 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, OS X, Wii
2011 Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars LucasArts PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game Disney Interactive Studios PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5–7 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii
2012 Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Windows, Wii
Lego The Lord of the Rings PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii
2013 Lego Marvel Super Heroes PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows
2014 Lego The Hobbit PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows
2015 Lego Dimensions PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2016 Lego Marvel's Avengers PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows
2017 Lego Worlds PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
2018 Lego DC Super-Villains PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
2019 The Lego Movie 2 Videogame[10] PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
2022 Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wallis, Alistair (9 November 2006). "Playing Catch Up: Traveller's Tales' Jon Burton". Gamasutra. UBM TechWeb. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  2. ^ Feddy, Kevin (18 January 2013). "The £100m 'geek'". Manchester Evening News. M.E.N Media. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Travellers Tales: Sonic R Programmer Speaks!". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 24. Emap International Limited. October 1997. p. 25. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  4. ^ Martin, Matt (8 November 2007). "Warner Bros. swoops for Traveller's Tales". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Games – TT Games".
  6. ^ "'Lego Dimensions' Officially Cancelled".
  7. ^ "LEGO Batman: The Videogame". gamesindustry.biz. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  8. ^ "GRAW grabs BAFTA top award". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. 6 October 2006. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  9. ^ Yarwood, Jack (20 January 2022). "Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has led to extensive crunch at TT Games". Polygon. Archived from the original on 20 January 2022. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  10. ^ Santangelo, Nick (27 November 2018). "The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame Announced for 2019". IGN. Retrieved 27 November 2018.

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