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Sad news hit a lot of fans when it was revealed that Telltale Games -- the makers of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy game, Batman: The Enemy Within and The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series -- has been hit with a massive layoff of core staff, shrinking the company down significantly by laying off 25% of the staff.
Polygon is reporting that 25% of the staff have been affected, or 90 out of the 360 or so individuals employed at Telltale. This is part of the company's initiative to make the company more flexible and "competitive" both as a developer and as a publisher.
Despite this news being rather terrible for the people working at Telltale, there's one thing that comes out of this that gamers might appreciate: Telltale will be scaling back on the amount of games it releases.
CEO Pete Hawley was brought in just a month ago to replace the former CEO, Dan Connors. Hawley is a former executive at Zynga, and it didn't take him long to start looking to restructure Telltale Games and reposition the company so that it's more like the early days when it was a powerhouse known for the first season of The Walking Dead and for the revival of the Sam & Max series, along with putting out critically acclaimed titles like The Wolf Among Us.
Hawley will have Telltale scale way back on the amount of games it produces each year, and he wants Telltale to focus more on quality over quantity, with his press statement declaring...
The realities of the environment we face moving forward demand we evolve, as well, reorienting our organization with a focus on delivering fewer, better games with a smaller team.
As much as some people may hate the fact that some of Telltale's staff is being laid off, Hawley is actually talking up a point that many gamers have been criticizing Telltale for in the past few years. Many gamers feel as if Telltale is putting out too much product and the quality isn't where it should be.
Earlier this year, the company announced that it was working on the series finale for The Walking Dead, along with a second season for The Wolf Among Us. According to Polygon, those games won't be affected.
However, expect 2019 and beyond to be a completely different story for Telltale Games, as the company will likely want to recapture the critical and commercial success it had back in 2012 with fewer, but higher quality games. The company plans to do so by switching over to "proven technologies" to help streamline development and improve on the quality of Telltale's output, which has been another contentious criticism from gamers, who feel as if Telltale needs to improve on the animations and graphics of its games.
While the technology wasn't outlined, it's a safe bet that Telltale will likely look toward solutions like the Unreal Engine 4, which offers a lot of streamlined functionality for building games quickly and efficiently with high quality rendering. It's unfortunate that this redirection and restructuring for Telltale came at the cost of 24% of its staff.