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Telltale Games seeing major layoffs, may be closing down

Telltale Games is going through a massive restructuring, and could end up closing its doors altogether. As of right now, a large number of employees have been let go without any severance. Apparently, the studio will retain 25 people for the time being, but we're hearing that Telltale has also filed for bankruptcy. More details on all of this are still surfacing, and we'll update this post with that info.

UPDATE - Telltale has posted the following notice on their blog

Today is a very, very sad day.

I left Telltale a year and a half ago after an extended period where the Board of Directors and I had very different visions of Telltale’s future and how we might get there. That was one of the hardest times of my professional life, but in the end the company is controlled by its Board of Directors and I respected their decisions throughout.

As a co-founder, I take an enormous amount of pride that we were able to build the kind of games that I am immensely passionate about creating, exploring, evolving, and perfecting (if that’s even possible). We built a significant new brand, helped define a new genre, and thrived for more than a decade.

We pursued projects that no one else would consider. The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands, The Wolf Among Us, Batman, Minecraft, Puzzle Agent, Poker Night and Sam & Max are the kind of projects I personally loved and I poured my heart and soul into each one. Those are the kind of projects no other publisher or studio would touch. We chose to venture where others dared not go, and we found some success along the way. It took a lot of vision, luck, will power, teamwork, talent, and very long days and nights to get there, but it will forever have been worth it.

And we did it all while growing, attracting some of the most talented people I’ve ever known. We were equally passionate about making sure our employees always had a home. Prior to my leaving, we were able to avoid sweeping layoffs and (somehow) managed to ensure that we always had work for everyone. We worked hard and sometimes it seemed like we had more than we could handle but we stuck together and forged ahead.

Today, I’m mostly saddened for the people who are losing their jobs at a studio they love. And I’m also saddened at the loss of a studio that green-lit crazy ideas that no one else would consider. I’m comforted a bit knowing there are now so many new talented people and studios creating games in the evolving narrative genre. While I look forward to those games and new developments, and continuing to contribute, I will always find “A Telltale Game” to have been a unique offering.

I know that Telltale will be remembered fondly for what it has done best.

Kevin

co-founder, Telltale Games.

Categories: Top Stories

Comments

Top Rated Comment
Fri Sep 21 18 04:24pm
Rating: 5 (Updated 2 times)

I don't like there games so I am okay with their employees being laid off? (Paraphrasing)

Like... you can not like their games, but they were still giving devs jobs...

tetrodox
Fri Sep 21 18 04:13pm
Rating: 4

Haven't enjoyed anything they put out ever, in fact I somewhat see their titles as being the main force behind some of the more terrible adventure games we see these days. Still sucks (but good riddance)

Yikes, that's unnecessarily harsh. What games of theirs have you played?

Fri Sep 21 18 04:24pm
Rating: 5 (Updated 2 times)

I don't like there games so I am okay with their employees being laid off? (Paraphrasing)

Like... you can not like their games, but they were still giving devs jobs...

tetrodox
Fri Sep 21 18 07:12pm
Rating: 2

I did say it sucks, what more can be said or done? I'm not ok with employees being laid off, hope they land on their feet, but I'm ok with these titles no longer gracing the release calendar. It sounds harsh but it's the facts of the matter.
And as far as I'm concerned, the games and devs go hand in hand, I could be way harsher.

windsorg
Fri Sep 21 18 04:36pm
(Updated 1 time)

I hope everyone finds new jobs, but I agree. Telltale's games tend to miss the point of the adventure game and a lot of recent problems in the genre seem to have been popularized by their work.

I loved their early stuff like Strong Bad and Monkey Island but after the first year or two the problem became that when they announced literally anything, anything at all, the entire world already knew what it would look like, how it would move, and how it would play. That's not great because their games looked stale, moved poorly and played strangely. They made twenty games that barely evolved. On top of that, they just started picking up properties that were popular or successful elsewhere rather than properties that fit their formula. I'll always stand by that if they were going into television, they should have made an Archer series before Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and whatever else was going on in the TV world.

I'm very sad we'll never get a Poker Night 3, though. I'd have liked to see Archer, Wheatley, and who knows who else they'd come up with. I get the idea Poker Night died because of their focus on television. As if they're gonna pay through the nose and jump through hoops of fire to get Game of Thrones and Walking Dead characters. Another reason they should have stuck to video games and more lighthearted material generally.

It's never good to see this happen. Hope they can turn it around.but a company with batman, guardians of the galaxy, and the walking dead seems mental they couldn't bring in some sort of profit.

Here’s a good video telling why the business model thay had became more unstable over time.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m4s0hBTVKNw

Is Batman: The enemy within still seeing release on Switch in 2 weeks?

Why shouldnt it? The port is finished.

Pretty bummed out by this, I've enjoyed many Telltale titles over the years. I hope all the laid-off staff can find new income soon.

This is a shame. I’ve enjoyed all of their games I’ve played.

Fri Sep 21 18 04:45pm
Rating: 2 (Updated 1 time)

Telltale is one of my favorite developers. Super depressed to see them go. I'm hoping the employees find other projects to spread their magic upon.

The Walking Dead series especially was fantastic and well-written and Clementine is easily my favorite female protagonist in any videogame. A New Frontier was a low point in the series, but this new season has started extremely strong, but now I'm worried it might end poorly due to only having a skeleton team working on it.

I'm honestly angry at the management for overworking the teams and for spreading itself too thin with projects. I'm okay with a game being delayed; the employees shouldn't have to suffer an awful working environment simply to get a game out several months earlier than otherwise. Besides a delayed game would likely be better than a rushed game made by people who are constantly tired for putting in overtime they never requested.

A company as popular as Telltale should NOT be shutting down this soon due to financial trouble. So a lot of this does come down to poor management by the people who sit around counting their stacks instead of being actively involved in development.

Yikes! I hope those employees find jobs soon. I enjoyed some of their games based on the story.

lokamp
Fri Sep 21 18 04:58pm
Rating: 2

Good riddance for modern Telltale games, but still digging their more true point-and-click stuff they've done in the past. The Three Sam & Max seasons, the Homestar Runner titles, the four Wallace and Gromit adventures...

I'll be surely remembering these, instead of their more modern offerings.

How did this even happen? Wow.

Very sad to see this happen. I hope the devs are able to use their talents elsewhere.

On a more selfish note, I wonder what will happen with their DRM. I bought a lot of their games directly through them. To activate, it has to verify with their server that I bought the game. If they shut down the servers, do I lose all of my games?

This is grim. A long time indie developer going under just as they removed the problems that they had. They were planning a massive change in how they make games without their old CEO who forced them to use the the walking dead dialogue system in everything.

Hopefully they'll survive it and get to work again or they'll be bought out. Maybe THQ Nordic wants an American studio?

God this is sad. I haven’t played anything from them recently (part of the problem I guess) but loved the Tales of Monkey Island, Strongbad and early Walking Dead games(Season 1).

With their consistent attachment to huge IPs I thought Telltale were still going strong...

Oh great...Now who's gonna make new Sam and Max games? Those were awesome(still have to get season 3).

Oh well, atleast EA didn't buy them otherwise it would have been worse. All the best to the devs out there.

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