We have learned that Telltale Games have bit hit with large layoffs, and that this may be the end of the developer.
The company issued the following statement:
Today, Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners. CEO Pete Hawley issued the following statement:
“It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”
Telltale will issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks.
The company woes all of this and last year. Firstly they had laid off nearly 25% of their workforce in 2017– affecting 90 employees. In March of this year the company was then hit by accusations of “years of a culture that promoted constant overwork, toxic management, and creative stagnation.”
Telltale Games would go on to be sued by its co-founder Kevin Bruner in June. While he was on the board of directors, the company were “contractually obligated to provide him informational support as he prepared to sell his holdings in common and preferred stock,” and allegedly failed to do so. He then claims he was voted out of the board by members who would should not have had enough stock do so.
The claim now is that the company has hit bankruptcy. Freelance journalist Joe Parlock claims that sources told him Telltale “almost didn’t get through Spring 2018. The Netflix deal fell apart, which was supposed to save it.” He goes on to say “only Minecraft: Story Mode and 7 Days to Die were making a profit. The rest was investor money and the netflix deal, which dried up.”
Basically, only the first season of The Walking Dead made money. Everything between that and Minecraft was a financial failure – Wolf, everything post-Season 1 of TWD, Borderlands, Game of Thrones. All failures.
~ @joeparlock, September 21st 2018
The Batman Telltale games are alleged to have been “the worst commercial failures” for the company.
Staff were allegedly only told “today”, and were not offered severance pay. With allegedly only a few members left, the claim made by Parlock and other outlets is that The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – The Final Season will still be finished. All other projects, such as The Wolf Among Us: Season 2, Game of Thrones: Season 2, and an unnamed Stranger Things game are all cancelled.
Games published under Telltale Games Publishing are said to also be affected, with console versions of Stranded Deep effectively without a publisher.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – The Final Season will drop Episode 2 on September 25th, Episode 3 on November 6th, and Episode 4 on December 4th, on PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One. Episode 1 is currently out.