If you haven’t bought any Telltale games (Which you haven’t since their sales numbers were atrocious), now might be the time. With Telltale closing down, the company is selling off their assets which include physical goods, trademarks, copyrights, software, and source code. This means other studios will be able to purchase the rights and potentially continue the game stories. On Steam, Telltale has removed their older games such The Tales of Monkey Island, Back to the Future, and Jurassic Park. The Walking Dead: The Final Season and their more recent titles are still available but the date on which they’ll be removed is undetermined. Telltale is working with Skybound Entertainment to finish The Walking Dead: The Final Season.
In addition to the liquidation of their assets, Telltale can only provide their former employees’ health benefits until November 30th. This will leave their 250 former employees and contractors without health benefits after their layoff. Telltale has been facing lawsuits from former employees for the sudden layoffs.
Telltale has found a company to finish Clem’s story for The Walking Dead: The Final Season.
Announced during New York Comic-Con by Robert Kirkman (Creator of the Walking Dead), Skybound Games will finish the game. Skybound Entertainment, the parent company, publishes The Walking Dead comic book series and many more. A part of the good news is that Skybound will work with the original Telltale team for the project. While final details are still unclear on when the full game will release or who is working on the project, fans can rejoice as The Walking Dead: The Final Season will be finished. Skybound Games have worked on mobile games and tabletop games for The Walking Dead series. They have also published video games such as The Long Dark and Slime Rancher.
With Telltale Games laying off almost most of their employees, many fans were concerned over the fate of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. The day of the layoffs, it was reported that Telltale would not finish the season but finish their work on The Minecraft Story for Netflix. Fans were heavily disappointed considering The Walking Dead was Telltales biggest game and many were invested in the life of Clementine, the main character. However, it looks like Telltale will continue making The Walking Dead.
Telltale hasn’t state who “the partners” are or when the the new episodes are expected to launch. Despite the good news, many people are pushing Telltale games to pay the laid off employees severance. Over 200 employees were suddenly released from Telltale without severance pay. Without future notice, one former employee is filing a class action lawsuit.
The future of Telltale remains to be unclear but hopefully the employees are compensated accordingly.
Kotaku – Layoffs
Class Action Lawsuit against Telltale
Employee reactions to layoffs
Gamespot – Future of Telltale
Telltale is famous for their unique story narrative games. Utilizing big franchises such as The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Batman, Minecraft, and more, Telltale created many episodic titles. Founded in July, 2004, the studio was created by Kevin Bruner, Dan Connors and Troy Molander who were initially employing video game designers formerly of LucasArts. Despite their works and successes, the studio will be closing down. Below is their official statement.
When were they doing bad?
In 2017, Telltale released 90 employees. Many former employees complained that tight deadlines, bad engines which were filled with bugs, and mismanagement led to many difficulties for developers. Many employees and writers would leave due to constant time crunches. Many Telltale games were unable to earn a profit. Their titles after the 1st season of The Walking Dead never received grand praise. Since every game was episodic, teams were constantly working on the next title which never gave the developers breaks or time off to refine the engine or the game. Paying the IP holders for the stories also cost the studio greatly.
According to US Gamer, anonymous sources state Telltale will continue working on the Minecraft Story Mode project for Netflix but the Walking Dead: The Final Season will be left unfinished. This will leave their final game unfinished and bother many fans. Many of Telltale’s games left on cliffhangers to introduce the next season such as Game of Thrones and Fables.