We’ve all heard the very harsh news. Telltale Games have recently announced the decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year of insurmountable challenges. The vast majority of staff were dismissed on Friday morning, and at that time, only a small team of twenty five employees remained to fulfill the company’s obligations. Not a very nice slice of news, I’m sure you’ll agree. Some argue that they didn’t innovate enough, some state that they should have built their own IPs and some even suggest that they relied too much on a dated concept.
For me, I would probably attribute this outcome to all of the above. Now, I’ve enjoyed Telltale’s offerings – for the most part – but one does wonder why they would constantly lean on episodic games that pulled from large franchises (already a costly move) to see them through. There’s no denying whatsoever that Telltale Games’ is a wide pool of impressively creative talent, so why not put that to better use? They knew how to sell a story, but unfortunately, they’ve struggled to sell their games – leading them to this whole ordeal.
We can only wish each and every one of them the best moving forward. It’s been very touching to see so many studios banding together to offer ex-staff members positions in their ranks. Ninja Theory, Rare and tens and tens of other companies have offered a helping hand, hitting social media with lists of available job vacancies, left, right and center. It’s at times like this when we see the best in people, and I commend every single outlet that’s been as kind and as respectful during what I can only imagine is a very tough time for Telltale.
What does this mean for the projects that they’re currently committed to? Such as The Walking Dead: The Final Season? According to reports, this game in-particular will not be completed. The second episode of the five-part story was set to unleash on September 25th. Telltale hasn’t directly confirmed that this is the case, but with so many sources stating that it’s a cancelled project, we can only assume that that’s the case. The remaining crew is reportedly working on the Netflix adaption of Minecraft: Story Mode, set for this fall.
Only time will tell where this train goes, or stops to be more accurate, but I think we can all agree that it’s a sad time regardless. I haven’t always been kind to Telltale. Hell, if you ever read my thoughts on Minecraft: Story Mode, you’ll know all to well that I gave them a lot of grief for it. Though, on the flip-side, they restored my faith in them with their more recent titles, so learning of this news hit a lot harder than I thought it would. Hopefully the disbanded staff find swift positions in other companies soon. What are your thoughts on the matter?