Telltale dates Bone follow-up

Indie studio's first foray into serialized content sees a second episode in April with Bone: The Great Cow Race.

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Developer Telltale Games has been preaching the merits of its episodic content-based business model for months. But while the studio has made splashes with the release of Bone: Out from Boneville and the announcement that it had picked up the Sam & Max: Freelance Police license for a series of graphic adventures, it has yet to show its episodic approach in action.

That's set to change, as the company today announced an April release date for the second episode of its Bone series, The Great Cow Race. It will be the first such follow-up the company has produced. Telltale CEO Dan Connors said in a statement that the episodic model has worked "very well" so far.

"Out from Boneville established the framework for the series and helped us get robust technology and systems in place," Connors said. "We identified a number of things we wanted to improve upon--such as the length of the experience, the nature of the minigames, and nuances in a number of areas--and the team is doing an outstanding job exceeding our expectations."

If it meets its scheduled April release date, The Great Cow Race would come out roughly seven months after Out from Boneville. Telltale's goal is to match Scholastic Books' biannual shipping scheduled for its color reprints of the original comic series.

Although a seven-month turnaround time for a follow-up is considered lightning quick in the industry, that timeframe apparently isn't good enough for Telltale, as Connors said the company's aiming to be quicker with its future follow-ups.

"We're finalizing a plan for another game series, which will get new episodes out even faster," Connors said.

A 30-minute demo of The Great Cow Race will be made available in the future, and customers need not own the original Bone: Out from Boneville in order to play the follow-up. The Great Cow Race will be available as a digital download or as a packaged version, but Telltale has not yet announced a price for the game. However, the company offers a downloadable version of Out from Boneville through its Web site for $19.99, or a packaged CD version for $24.99.

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