Friday, September 21st 2018

Telltale Games Enters Majority Closure, Walking Dead Finale Reportedly Cancelled

In what will likely hit more than a few PC gamers hard, Telltale Games- the studio behind The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Tales From The Borderlands and more- will be closing. The studio currently maintains only a skeleton crew of 25 out of what once was an estimated 250 employees at peak. Sadly, the employees that were let go received no severance pay, while those remaining have been tasked with completing a single final project. Reports as to the final project are conflicting, but it appears to be the Minecraft Story Mode project for Netflix. Either way, it is the studio's last gasp as it attempts to fulfill various obligations. Meanwhile, projects like The Walking Dead final season, The Wolf Among Us 2 and others have been outright canceled.

With the whirlwind of activity surrounding the closure is still ongoing, the hashtag #TelltaleJobs on Twitter has currently begun to take off with offers from various studios letting former Telltale staff know they should apply. These studios include, but are not limited to ZeniMax Online Studios, Sony Santa Monica, PUBG corp, Gearbox and many more. While Telltale Games have been experiencing some troubles over the last year or so, its closing was still unexpected. More pressing is, what happens next for those that purchased the entire final season of The Walking Dead- with only one episode out, there is no word yet on what will happen to those that purchased it.

Update:One of the major reasons behind the closure can likely be traced to falling sales, likely leaving the company in a tough position.
Sources: US Gamer, Twitter, Reddit
Add your own comment

64 Comments on Telltale Games Enters Majority Closure, Walking Dead Finale Reportedly Cancelled

#2
spectatorx
Finally! I hope this will end era of these tv series for some reason called "games" as there is no real gameplay in them.
Posted on Reply
#3
StrayKAT
I said awhile back that they were stretching themselves too thin. Too many titles at once at one point. So this is unfortunately and mostly their fault.

But I also blame gamers too. Y'all keep paying up the wazoo for EA trash. Shame on you. ;)
Posted on Reply
#4
TheOne
PC Gamer said they were going to finish The Walking Dead, if it is cancelled that will suck as I bought it as a gift for someone.
Posted on Reply
#5
StrayKAT
Not even a PewDiePie vid could save them apparently. Or maybe it will? Maybe his fans will want him to finish his Let's Play. That'd be funny to see.

edit: What's really sad is that this was only released last month. They apparently gambled on sales just within this month to help them. They were already on their last leg at that point.
Posted on Reply
#6
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
We previously reported that a skeleton crew will remain behind to complete work on The Walking Dead Final Season. That information was inaccurate. Sources who wish to remain anonymous explained that there is a skeleton crew at Telltale, but they will be working on the Minecraft Story Mode project for Netflix. In fact, The Walking Dead team was also laid off today and The Walking Dead Final Season will not be completed.
In other words, the remaining staff at TTG aren't even working on a game, they're porting Minecraft: Story Mode to Netflix as a choose your own adventure experience. Stranger Things, Walking Dead, and Wolf Among Us are all canceled.

https://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/telltale-minecraft-story-mode-netflix-1202844528/
“Minecraft: Story Mode” will be delivered via video files and accept commands via any TV remote equipped with directional and select buttons, according to TechRadar, who first broke the story. Telltale’s games are a perfect match for this technology, since they generally require simple commands and dialogue choices to play. There’s no word yet on whether or not combat sequences will be included in the Netflix show. Anonymous sources told TechRadar a playable demo already exists.
Posted on Reply
#7
StrayKAT
Microsoft should buy them if their own damn title (Minecraft) is killing this company.
Posted on Reply
#8
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
TTG killed itself by getting too big, too fast after the commercial success of Walking Dead. They had a poor work environment and poor management. The games they produced didn't sell very well.
Posted on Reply
#9
kastriot
Well i had fun will 1st game and it was good ,so many good memories, tnx Telitale.
Posted on Reply
#10
RejZoR
That's sad news. Some people happy them getting closed, but I really liked their thing. It's a very specific genre of "interactive movie" games, but it's cool as they really went heavy with the story and sometimes you just want games that carry you along the way and you're making the harder choices. So you can have one hand on mouse and another in a bag of chips. Walking Dead was the most iconic, although Wolf Among Us was also interesting concept. Didn't play any others from them, but might eventually poke other series they made (Batman probably as it's the most familiar franchise). Shame. I hope someone will pick up the concept and continue this. Like I said, sometimes you just want an interactive movie concept instead of 100% static movie with identical outcome each time or 100% interactive game because it requires you to be invested in the game 100%. TTG series were right in between and I liked that.
Posted on Reply
#11
R0H1T
Can they do a Star Citizen & croudfund their next venture(s) :confused:
Posted on Reply
#12
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I doubt it. The abruptness of this strongly suggests they're deeply in debt. You can't crowdfund debt, you crowdfund products and ideas. They've already got that (license to other peoples' IP) but no money to finish it.
Posted on Reply
#13
Pumper
Looks like too many licensed games that no one wanted. Should have made more original content like The Wolf Among Us.
Posted on Reply
#14
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Wolf Among Us was licensed from Fables IP. It's been a very long time since TTG made original IP (ever?). Even games like Poker Night at the Inventory uses characters they licensed.
Posted on Reply
#15
TheOne
It's a shame, their first episode of their final season of The Walking Dead received mostly positive reviews on Steam.
Posted on Reply
#16
yotano211
I actually liked the walking dead game
Posted on Reply
#17
ebivan
Well, when you make games thaz are no games but more or less interactice storys where youre 'interactive' decisions have none or almost no consequence. Its only logical that people rather watch it on youtube than buy it themselves!

Companies out there, make more real adventure games not this narrative focused bullshit!
Posted on Reply
#18
Ahhzz
FordGT90Concept, post: 3908744, member: 60463"
TTG killed itself by getting too big, too fast after the commercial success of Walking Dead. They had a poor work environment and poor management. The games they produced didn't sell very well.
Hate it for the employees so much. According to the articles, this was totally a mis-management issue.
Posted on Reply
#19
NC37
FordGT90Concept, post: 3908788, member: 60463"
I doubt it. The abruptness of this strongly suggests they're deeply in debt. You can't crowdfund debt, you crowdfund products and ideas. They've already got that (license to other peoples' IP) but no money to finish it.
Likely how they got into trouble. All those IPs probably cost them. Royalties alone would add up. For a time they probably rode them well because their popularity was huge. Back to the Future game put them on the map. But I know people who stayed with them that say don't bother. Stories just going down hill. Fewer and fewer high points.

If they went straight to creating their own IP and doing traditional VNs, they might be able to climb back up. But they'd need to release a lot of VNs to keep funding coming in. Doubt their team can manage that feat. Blood is in the water, they'll be looking for new jobs.

ebivan, post: 3908801, member: 168997"
Well, when you make games thaz are no games but more or less interactice storys where youre 'interactive' decisions have none or almost no consequence. Its only logical that people rather watch it on youtube than buy it themselves!

Companies out there, make more real adventure games not this narrative focused bullshit!
Basically that turns them into a Kinetic VN. Kinetic VNs do not sell that well. Very rarely are there hits and they have to be super amazing to do it. Most Kinetic VNs go for free. Telltale got lazy on routing and it cost them.
Posted on Reply
#20
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
I have to say, they will be missed. Back To the Future was great, and The Wolf Among Us is on my list of must have recommendations to everyone.

Because it followed outside the main storyline, I also fairly enjoyed Game of Thrones game they did. It played out in the same manner as the series of books did. Oh well.
Posted on Reply
#21
Vayra86
StrayKAT, post: 3908737, member: 174092"
I said awhile back that they were stretching themselves too thin. Too many titles at once at one point. So this is unfortunately and mostly their fault.

But I also blame gamers too. Y'all keep paying up the wazoo for EA trash. Shame on you. ;)
What? The studio treated its employees rather badly and tried to do too much with too little manpower, and the games themselves are hardly games to begin with.

This has nothing to do with EA trash. There are dozens of smaller studios that can survive just fine - and not with a constant stream of released products like TellTale does. They were just managed very badly. Is it up to us to pay that bill?
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
The last time they released a game was over a year ago. Considering the simplicity of the games and the fact they already had an engine to facilitate their production, each game should take less than a year to make (three months designing, six months producing, three months polishing). Something went very, very wrong last year at TTG.
Posted on Reply
#23
Vayra86
FordGT90Concept, post: 3908871, member: 60463"
The last time they released a game was over a year ago.
Still is quite fast in game development, yearly releases with actual new content.
Posted on Reply
#24
StrayKAT
Vayra86, post: 3908869, member: 152404"
What? The studio treated its employees rather badly and tried to do too much with too little manpower, and the games themselves are hardly games to begin with.

This has nothing to do with EA trash. There are dozens of smaller studios that can survive just fine - and not with a constant stream of released products like TellTale does. They were just managed very badly. Is it up to us to pay that bill?
I know nothing about them treating their employees badly. Sorry. You're acting like this is common knowledge.

But I agree that they tried too much. I said that earlier as well.

The comment about EA had a wink behind it. I'm just busting people's chops.. it's sad who ends up being the most successful in this industry. Some of that responsibility falls on gamers.
Posted on Reply
#25
Vayra86
StrayKAT, post: 3908877, member: 174092"
I know nothing about them treating their employees badly. Sorry. You're acting like this is common knowledge.

But I agree that they tried too much. I said that earlier as well.
Crunch mentality, 24/7 365 basically. Its far too common and if the initial success dies down, that's doing a lot of work for crappy results. People get demotivated, disgruntled and leave or they stay and barely do work. Basically that's what killed this studio. Bad management.

Its worth noting that CDPR is another such company that has elevated crunch time to 'standard operating procedure'. You should watch some interviews with ex CDPR devs about TW3... Its only their success that keeps the whole thing afloat because they can keep hiring replacements.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment