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One of the shocking news stories over the past week was the closure of Telltale Games. The point-and-click company's endeavors came to an abrupt halt due to an investor pulling out, and the company not having any way to pay its employees. This happened right during the middle of the development of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, resulting in only two episodes being released. The studio's closure put a damper on the rest of the season's episodes being developed, and now news has spread that The Walking Dead: The Final Season is being pulled from some of the more prominent digital storefronts.
There's a notice over on the DRM-free outlet GOG.com, stating that Telltale has requested a pause on the digital sales of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. The statement reads...
Telltale has requested a temporary pause of sales of The Walking Dead - Final Season. For all up to date Telltale news, please refer to their official Twitter page.
Wisely, Telltale decided to pull the digital sales for The Walking Dead: The Final Season from GOG.com, Steam, the Xbox Store, and the PlayStation Store until further notice. This prevents anyone from stumbling into the store and purchasing a season pass, only to find out that the remaining episodes might not ever come out.
Even though the studio is winding down operations, the Twitter page has been keeping fans and industry folk up to date on the latest happenings regarding the looming closure.
On the more serious side of things, gamers are wondering what becomes of the last three episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season? For people who paid for the season pass, they're now fresh out of money for a product that may never exist. Debates have been raging across social media as to how the remaining staff at Telltale can rectify the situation. However, only 25 employees remain on board and according to most reports those employees are simply there to maintain day-to-day operations in preparation for closure or a sale.
It's also unclear exactly how much work was finished on the remaining episodes in the season, so it's difficult to say what exactly would need to be completed or how much work would be required to complete the remaining episodes. The voice capture is likely done, and I imagine most of the general character models that would be used throughout the season were completed, but the game scripting, maps, animations, and synching are a whole other story. There have apparently been talks about outsourcing the remainder of the season in order to get it finished, but that's all just talk right now as far as we know.
It's definitely a bad situation to be in, especially if you're either a former developer at Telltale Games or a gamer who haphazardly purchased a season pass for The Walking Dead: The Final Season. For now, however, Telltale is doing the right thing by suspending sales on home console and PC until things get sorted.