Telltale games announces majority closure and massive layoffs
James Finney | Tech Editor
On Sept. 21, Telltale Games announced a majority closure of the studio. Nearly 250 employees have been laid off without severance, leaving the company with a small team of 25 remaining workers.
The studio laid off 90 other employees back in November of last year, following insufficient sale numbers on their games and internal strife within Telltale’s board of directors.
The announcement came only four days before the release of the second episode of the last season for Telltale’s “The Walking Dead.” No more episodes will be coming out following the release of episode two.
The studio had several other projects in the works, including the final season of “The Wolf Among Us” season two, “Game of Thrones” season two as well as a “Strangers Things” project. At this time, these titles are all assumed cancelled.
The studio officially announced that the closure comes after a year of “insurmountable challenges.” Several developers have also come out on Twitter, saying that the staff was being overworked and underpaid as they worked on projects such as “The Walking Dead.”
The gaming industry has responded using the hashtag #TelltaleJobs to notify former Telltale employees/contractors of potential job openings available to them. Several major game studios, such as Insomniac and Epic, have reached out directly to game devs from Telltale, asking for applications.
Former CEO of Telltale, Kevin Bruner, responded to the studio layoffs on his blog, saying, “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.”
Telltale Games was known for its groundbreaking form of narrative gameplay and episodic releases for its titles. The studio held a unique position as a leader in storytelling for the gaming industry, and many members of the community are lamenting the studio’s closure.