Spotted by Rock Paper Shotgun, Willingham’s motivation was to tilt the scales towards himself after he accused DC Comics of trying “to strong arm the ownership of Fables” from him.
The author and artist had worked with DC Comics for about 20 years, and though he praised a selection of the people he encountered, Willingham claimed that the company became “a revolving door of strangers, of no measurable integrity”.
“The one thing in our contract the DC lawyers can’t contest, or reinterpret to their own benefit, is that I am the sole owner of the intellectual property. I can sell it or give it away to whomever I want,” continued Willingham.
“I chose to give it away to everyone. If I couldn’t prevent Fables from falling into bad hands, at least this is a way I can arrange that it also falls into many good hands. Since I truly believe there are still more good people in the world than bad ones, I count it as a form of victory.”
Then, when discussing what happened between himself and DC Comics, Willingham suggested that the “characters, settings, history and premises” of Fables were “radically altered” in Telltale Games’ The Wolf Among Us.
He claimed “when they capitulated on some of the points in a later conference call, promising on the phone to pay me back monies owed for licensing Fables to Telltale Games, for example, in the execution of the new agreement, they reneged on their word”.
“[They] offered the promised amount instead as a ‘consulting fee,’ which avoided the precedent of admitting this was money owed, and included a non-disclosure agreement that would prevent me from saying anything but nice things about Telltale or the license”.
‘The Wolf Among Us’ credit Telltale Games though Willingham has no intention to take legal action against DC Comics, he is seeking the compensation he has been allegedly owed “for years” for The Wolf Among Us and other media inspired by Fables.
As long as he and his two copyright lawyers agree, this move will allow anyone to make whatever they want with Willingham’s fantasy universe. It’s not known how this will impact The Wolf Among Us 2 which is in the works with former Telltale Games staff and expected in 2024.