Telltale Games' ousting of cofounder and former CEO Kevin Bruner is kicking up some fresh turbulence for the game developer, as reports show that Bruner is currently suing the company for breach of contract, among other charges. This comes at an especially rocky time for Telltale, as the company axed about a third of its employees last fall to adapt to a changing game development environment and is currently trying to get the final season of The Walking Dead out the door.
Telltale Games dropped Bruner as CEO and removed him from the board just last year, with the co-founder of Telltale Games apparently taking legal action in late February, according to Marinij. The company was founded way back in 2004, but Bruner didn't step into the role of CEO until January of 2015.
According to Telltale, that's when things started getting rocky. During his tenure as CEO, reports came out alleging that Bruner created a toxic work environment and crunch periods that were too hard on employees. While Telltale became a household name for gamers courtesy of The Walking Dead, they've gone on to make games based on everything from Borderlands and Guardians of the Galaxy to Game of Thrones and Batman.
While Bruner denies the allegations of improper management, he makes his own allegations that, shortly after Lionsgate made an investment in the company in February of 2015, folks began trying to push him out the door in favor of "an outside CEO."
It took two years, but Bruner was eventually fired as CEO at Telltale and was then pushed off of the board of directors. According to the lawsuit, being cut off from the company denied Bruner important information about Telltale's finances that would have been utilized when selling his shares in the company.
For their part, Telltale has gone on to state that Bruner's claims were without merit, adding that the company was struggling financially in order to recover from situations created by Bruner himself. The statement went on to claim that the lawsuit was little more than Bruner seeking revenge while the company was already dealing with some major issues.
Telltale moved to have the lawsuit defeated outright, but the judge decided there were aspects at play that, at the very least, should be looked into more closely. Since many of the court filings have been redacted, Bruner's stated financial damages are not known.
Everything is set for a case management conference come July 17, so we expect to learn more about the lawsuit shortly after. Then again, it may be determined there's nothing further to look into and the whole thing could just wash away.
In the meantime, the final season of The Walking Dead is set to kick off on Aug. 14. After that, we're not too clear on what, if anything, Telltale has in the works.