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The slow demise of Telltale Games continues this week as several of the developer's older titles disappear from digital storefronts such as Steam. The studio's closure doesn't mean those games are gone forever, though, and anyone who already owns them will maintain access to them.
The shuttering of Telltale Games has moved pretty quickly following the unexpected firing of 250 staff members in September, with the developer going through an assignment process that has led to several of its games winding up in a state of limbo, according to Game Daily. For now, Back to the Future, Tales of Monkey Island and Jurassic World have all been removed from Steam. Those games were all developed pre-The Walking Dead, which is when Telltale's popularity really took off.
As noted above, Telltale is currently working its way through assignment proceedings, which are quite a bit different than bankruptcy. This process allows a company to quickly shift its assets to new owners, potentially receiving compensation in return. That compensation is typically then used to pay creditors what they are owed, allowing the company to end on a more clean note than simply filing for bankruptcy. It's a bit of a messy ball of yarn and I'm no legal expert, though, so I don't even want to hazard a guess as to what the assignment process looks like for Telltale until they've made more information available. If they are in the process of selling their properties, though, it could mean any number of their series will be back on the market at a future date under a new publisher.
As for now, the only clear answer we have is that the final season of The Walking Dead will be completed. Telltale fired the vast majority of its employees just as the second of four chapters was getting ready to roll out. The second chapter launched as planned, but it was announced that the rest of the season, along with most other Telltale projects, would be tossed in the bin. Enough folks were kept on to finish work on a Minecraft series the studio is making for Netflix but, after more folks noted they were also being laid off in the following weeks, the skeleton crew of 25 seems to have dwindled even further.
The sudden shuttering of the studio has produced at least one lawsuit claiming Telltale did not follow California law when it comes to such a large closure. Those 250 employees were dropped without warning and, last we heard, without any sort of severance.
The sliver of silver lining to this ordeal is that Skybound, the studio owned by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, stepped in to scoop up some of Telltale's former employees and, thanks to a deal they struck with the closing studio, finish the final season of the long-running game series.