Telltale Games, responsible for introducing me to the fascinating and captivating genre of interactive visual novels, has let go of most of its staff and looks to be closing for good. Popular for releasing games based on such massive franchises as The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Wolf Among Us (based on the Fables series of comics by Bill Willingham), was not enough to keep the studio alive, despite being a huge revenue and accolade machine back in 2013-14.
The studio has had a hard year, unable to reach the heights of it's past releases with lacklustre performance for their Guardians of the Galaxy title, The Walking Dead Michonne spin-off and Minecraft Story Mode Season 2. Towards the end of last year the studio laid off roughly 40 members of staff in a bid to consolidate and double down on their future following a restructuring, with a Stranger Things collaboration and a sequel to the incredibly popular Wolf Among Us on the horizon. This was sadly not enough, as CEO Pete Hawley has released a full statement to address the rumours that began circulating online yesterday, when ex-members of staff started stating they were out of work on Twitter.
The statement from Pete Hawley said the following: "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."
Out of a staff 250 people strong, just 25 remain at the studio to fulfil what Hawley refers to as "the company's obligations to its board and partners" in a statement to IGN. The concerning thing is that the studio's most beloved game, The Walking Dead, and character story arc, in Clementine, will not be finished and has been abandoned in preference for making a Minecraft Story Mode feature film with Netflix. This did not sit kindly with many fans who had invested time and money in the studio's most notable and influential character.
Those who have lost their job and that have been affected by the closure are being asked to use the hashtag #TelltaleJobs on Twitter as a way for other developers to pick up the many skilled people now out of work. What was your favourite Telltale title? Are you surprised by this closure? Comment below or tweet us @ghoulishent.
We've also started a Go Fund Me to support the displaced staff and their families. If you can help at all, please read and visit our campaign page. You do not have to donate if you are unable, sharing between your friends, family and followers is just as vital and we thank you for your time!
Founder and Writer