Telltale Games Lays Off Majority Of Staff, Begins Process Of Shutting Down

The Walking Dead
(Image credit: Telltale Games)

Over the last six years there has been a huge resurgence in story-based point-and-click games all thanks to Telltale Games. The company got eyes with the return of Sam & Max but it turned heads with the first season of The Walking Dead. The follow-up of The Wolf Among Us kept fans hanging on for more content from Telltale Games, and with successes like Batman: The Enemy Within, many thought that the company was going to be making headway toward bigger and better things, but alas it was not meant to be. After swapping out the CEO, restructuring the entire studio and culling a lot of properties from the line-up, things still didn't turn around for Telltale, and now the company is shutting down.

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Over on the official Telltale Twitter account, the company announced that it was letting go of all its staff, save for 25 employees who will stay on to finish work on open projects. _US Gamer is reporting that everyone who was let go from the studio did so without severance pay. As for _The Talking Dead: The Final Season, the second episode is due to drop on September 28th, with the remaining episodes scheduled to arrive before 2018 wraps up. However Variety is reporting that it's "uncertain" if the remaining episodes will release as scheduled.

According to Gamasutra all of the current projects other than The Walking Dead: The Final Season have been cancelled, this includes Telltale's recent collaboration with Netflix to make a game based on Stranger Things, and the highly anticipated second season of The Wolf Among Us.

Speculation has run rampant about what will happen to Telltale, and some gamers have put on their investigative hat to find out if Telltale has filed for bankruptcy in its state, but others have retorted that just because the studio is shutting down doesn't mean that they filed for bankruptcy... yet.

Additionally, there's no guarantee that Telltale will shut down indefinitely. It could be one of those situations where the studio is looking for an angel investor or another buyer who will pick up the intellectual properties currently under the company's developmental deal with the rights holders. This could be a reason why Telltale signed on with Netflix earlier in the year even though the company was in dire straits. Sometimes having valuable IP under the belt helps improve the overall valuation of the company and makes it look worthwhile for potential buyers.

Of course, this is all assuming that Telltale won't just file for bankruptcy and sell off all of its remaining properties in the process.

This all comes after a studio restructuring last year in 2017, in which Telltale laid off 25% of its staff during a restructuring. The company decided to cull various smaller properties from the slate such as Minecraft: Story Mode and Guardians of the Galaxy to focus on the heavy hitters. Even then it wasn't enough to stave off some hard decisions during these tough times.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.