On August 14, Telltale released the first episode of the final season of its critically acclaimed Walking Dead series. Episode 2 of the season is still slated to release on September 25.
Myriad publications from US Gamer to The Verge are reporting that Telltale Games, developers of The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Batman: The Telltale Series, is shutting down.
Per Polygon, «the studio has cut its staff down to 25 people as it readies a full-scale closure.» Layoffs began early Friday.
The developer released a statement on Twitter saying that «a majority of the company’s employees» have been «dismissed».
– Telltale Games (@telltalegames) September 21, 2018
Although the company has not released an official statement as of this writing, it appears per sources that have spoken with other publications that the final season has been cancelled following the second episode.
Former Telltale narrative designer Emily Grace Buck said in a tweet that 250 employees had been laid off without severance and that some would be unable to collect unemployment due to their roles with the company.
To clarify some questions people have been asking (and keep in mind I am NOT a company rep)
– Around 250 people are jobless, not 225
– We did not get any kind of severance
– Our healthcare only lasts for one more week
– Many former employees were contract & can’t get unemployment
– Emily Grace Buck plz hire TTG devs! #Telltalejobs (@emilybuckshot) September 22, 2018
At the time of announcing its closure, Telltale was working on The Wolf Among Us 2, as well as an unnamed adaptation of Stranger Things and Minecraft: Story Mode, both in association with Netflix. Anonymous sources have told several outlets that The Wolf Among Us 2 has also been cancelled, with Buck confirming the cancellation via a tweet.
Netflix told The Verge that Stranger Things «had been halted», while Minecraft: Story Mode would move forward. However, the media provider did not elaborate any further.
Telltale Games was founded in 2004 in San Rafael, California. Kevin Bruner, Dan Connors, and Troy Molander, all of whom previously worked at LucasArts and on the Sam & Max franchise, began the company following their departure from Lucasarts.
Bruner released a statement regarding the layoffs, which you can read here.
Aside from The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Minecraft, and Batman, the developer and publisher worked on IPs ranging from Jurassic Park to Game of Thrones, and Borderlands.