Universal Pictures has partnered with Telltale Games to create an episodic gaming series based around the Dick Wolf production. Due this fall, the title will see wide distribution, appearing on the PC, Mac, consoles, tablets and mobile devices.
Like the show, the game will have a dual focus: crime solving (consisting of interrogation and criminal investigations) and courtroom drama.
"We've always been interested in 'Law & Order' because we like the idea of investigations and we like the idea of doing something legal, like the 'Phoenix Wright' games," says Dan Connors, co-founder and CEO of Telltale Games. "It's a great franchise for the type of games we like to do."
Telltale is not disclosing specific details about the title at present. The game will feature the show's main characters, including Alfred Molina's Det. Ricardo Morales and Terrence Howard's D.A. Joe Decker – though it's still uncertain if players will portray them or new characters who work and interact with them in their offices. Actors from the show have not yet committed to doing voice work for the title, but Telltale hints it is in talks.
Though the fate of the NBC show is still tentative, Universal and Telltale struck a multiyear deal, which also includes rights for social media applications, such as Facebook games.
Telltale is no stranger to working with Hollywood – or Universal. The company is in the midst of a five-part episodic game based on "Back to the Future" (even lassoing Christopher Lloyd to reprise his role as Doc Brown). And an episodic Jurassic Park series will launch soon on PC and Mac (with console versions coming this fall).
The company is also working on a gaming component for AMC's zombie-fest "The Walking Dead" (though that title will be more tuned to the comic book universe than the show's). And it has a deal with Warner Bros. to do a game based on the Fables comic book, giving it a foot in the door at that studio.
In the Jurassic Park game, players will get the chance to go toe-to-toe with Raptors and T. Rex. Set during the first film, the five-part series picks up from the moment when Wayne Knight's character, Dennis, dropped the Barbasol can full of dino embryos. Dennis didn't live much longer, but in the game, a smuggler sneaks onto the island to retrieve it. It's not long before she's trapped, along with other members of the park staff.
Telltale is a leader in the episodic gaming space, one of the few gaming companies to truly capitalize on segmented story telling. Before focusing more heavily on Hollywood licenses, the company revived several long dead game franchises with its schedule of monthly chapter releases.
In 2010, Telltale generated revenues of $10 million – a 90 percent increase from the year before. And it's expecting to repeat that feat this year.
"Our expertise is franchises," says Connors. "On the one side you're hearing all this talk about licensing not being viable anymore [in the game industry] and it can't succeed. In our mind, it's like of course they can succeed. There's a big audience that's interested in this content. You just have to build it right for them."
Currently hiring (the company just brought its 100th employee on board recently), it plans to continue leveraging film and television properties to extend its growth.
"Right now, we're looking at movies that are coming out in the next 12-18 months and looking at the cartoon series as far as what we're going to [do next]," says Connors. "We capture comedy in such a way that the South Parks, Simpsons and Family Guys of the world seem perfect for us. That's something we're always thinking about [though no deals have been struck]."