Wednesday, November 8th 2017

Telltale Games Restructuring, Letting go of 90 Staff Members

Telltale Games, best known for its episodic series of videogames focused on single-player experiences, has announced a restructuring within its organization. The move, which aims to "make the company more competitive as a developer and publisher of groundbreaking story-driven gaming experiences with an emphasis on high quality in the years ahead," will see the laying off of 90 staff members (around 25% of its workforce,) effective immediately. Luckily for us gamers, it appears that the restructuring won't affect any previously announced projects, which include a second season for breakout game The Wolf Among Us.

"Our industry has shifted in tremendous ways over the past few years. The realities of the environment we face moving forward demand we evolve, as well, reorienting our organization with a focus on delivering fewer, better games with a smaller team," said Telltale Games CEO Pete Hawley. "I'd like to express our respect for all the contributions that these incredibly talented artists, storytellers and more have made to this company, and that this decision is in no way a reflection on the quality or dedication of their work, " he added. "We have made available our full career assistance services to help our affected colleagues and friends - and their families - navigate this difficult transition as quickly as possible."
This news comes in wake of recent cross-fired comments from video game developers and publishers regarding the impending economical unfeasibility for story-driven, single player games. It would seem that those comments are ringing particularly true for Telltale. the company has taken under its umbrella a number of franchises for development, including Minecraft: Story Mode, Game of Thrones, Tales From the Borderlands, The Walking Dead Series, among others. The company has already grown to around 400 employees before this layoff was announced, which might signal too fast an expansion in the current market outlook for single player games (as perceived by developers and publishers.)
Besides being known for its generally excellent single player, story-driven games, Telltale has drawn criticism for a perceived "roughness" of its graphics engine, however. The development of their in-house engine may have had something to do with these layoffs; in fact, poring Telltale's comments on the matter, it was announced that the company intends to move internal development over to "more proven technologies that will fast-track innovation in its core products as it works with new partners to bring its games to new audiences." This sounds like an increased adoption of off-the-shelf, industry-proven graphics engine options rather than development of their own internal engine, which has been marred with issues in the past. Perhaps developing both the games and the tools that power them has turned out to be unfeasible in the long term? We shall wait and see.Source: Games Industry
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5 Comments on Telltale Games Restructuring, Letting go of 90 Staff Members

#1
StrayKAT
Sad, but they spread themselves thin. I consider myself a big fan, but even I only have half of their games.
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#2
Steevo
Its unfortunate that developers are laying people off, but then again looking at the state of video games it seems no one has a real "new" idea for one. We have had a plethora of mediocre games from many sources, and the mediocrity is caused by too many fingers in the pie most of the time, people pushing for unneeded graphics, elaborate but boring story line, pay to play micro-transactions, or invasive DRM. I hope they focus on the player experience instead of polishing the proverbial turd ideas.
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#3
efikkan
While I do love some of their games, I've often wondered if they can keep it up in the long run.
The company has already grown to around 400 employees before this layoff was announced, which might signal too fast an expansion in the current market outlook for single player games (as perceived by developers and publishers.)
This is exactly what I expected. Far too many companies have fallen into this trap by expanding too quickly, and many have even gone under. No company should hire staff based on expected growth in revenue, and it's always much easier to expand when it's actually needed.
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#4
metalfiber
I liked their take on that genre of point and click adventure games. Walking Dead series, Tales from the Borderlands and the like. The only time i was truly shocked by a game was Wolf Among Us. The Little Mermaid...Really? :D
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#5
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
I look forward to them getting back to the roots of their great storytelling, and a sequel to The Wolf Among Us sounds like a fantastic start!! The first was easily, IMHO, their best work.
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