Telltale’s first “multiplayer” venture, Batman: The Telltale Series, has only just come out, and they are already backpedaling on how expansive its multiplayer is.
Telltale revealed “Crowd Play” for Batman: The Telltale Series at San Diego Comic Con. Essentially, people numbering “two to two-thousand plus” could watch and vote on in-game decisions, either to simply poll opinion or to decide the outcome of a given decision. Those who stream video games were thrilled.
Unfortunately, a problem has been detailed by Telltale that those who have streamed through Twitch could have guessed. Although the feature is capable of supporting thousands, they would all need to be watching the same screen, because streaming lag is too slow to keep up with in-game events.
“It’s designed for everyone to be watching the same screen, at the same time, in the same room and works best with 4-12 people,” Telltale explains. “Technically, it can support thousands of players, … but we don’t expect you can fit 2000 of your closest friends in your living room so we’ve designed everything for smaller groups. … We are working closely with all the streaming services to address [lag], but it certainly won’t be ideal for streaming out of the box.”
Additionally, while mobile players can vote with Crowd Play, they cannot host Crowd Play.
This comes as a disappointment to many, but the problems presented by streaming lag are certainly not Telltale’s fault, and the fact that they are making an effort to work around the issue shows that they understand the disappointment and care about player experience.
And as Telltale says, they’ve always seen their games as intimate. “We’ve made Crowd Play an event that you can host at your home, for your family and friends. Perhaps you will make a weekly game night a little extra special. Or perhaps you can Crowd Play with a significant other who thinks playing stories together is cool. We sincerely hope that families, young and old, will be Crowd Playing together, inspiring conversations about why they made the choices they made, and bringing everyone closer together.”
Batman: The Telltale Series is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Mac OS.