Report: Telltale Games Hit With Major Layoffs, Possibly Shutting Down

Report: Telltale Games Hit With Major Layoffs, Possibly Shutting Down - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 03 October 2018 / 3,784 Views

Telltale Games, the developer of The Walking DeadThe Wolf Among Us, and more, has reportedly been hit with major layoffs and might be shutting down. The news comes from developers on social media, sources who have spoken with Kotaku and The Verge.

Only 25 employees will remain at the developer. The employees who were let go did not receive a severance package. One source stated that people were informed today of the layoffs and were given just 30 minutes to leave the building.

 

Telltale Games co-founder and former CEO Kevin Bruner, who left the company a year and a half ago, has reported on his website that the studio has shut down. 

Read the complete message from Bruner below:

Today is a very, very sad day.

I left Telltale a year and a half ago after an extended period where the Board of Directors and I had very different visions of Telltale’s future and how we might get there. That was one of the hardest times of my professional life, but in the end the company is controlled by its Board of Directors and I respected their decisions throughout.

As a co-founder, I take an enormous amount of pride that we were able to build the kind of games that I am immensely passionate about creating, exploring, evolving, and perfecting (if that’s even possible). We built a significant new brand, helped define a new genre, and thrived for more than a decade.  

We pursued projects that no one else would consider. The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands, The Wolf Among Us, Batman, Minecraft, Puzzle Agent, Poker Night and Sam & Max are the kind of projects I personally loved and I poured my heart and soul into each one. Those are the kind of projects no other publisher or studio would touch. We chose to venture where others dared not go, and we found some success along the way. It took a lot of vision, luck, will power, teamwork, talent, and very long days and nights to get there, but it will forever have been worth it.

And we did it all while growing, attracting some of the most talented people I’ve ever known. We were equally passionate about making sure our employees always had a home. Prior to my leaving, we were able to avoid sweeping layoffs and (somehow) managed to ensure that we always had work for everyone. We worked hard and sometimes it seemed like we had more than we could handle but we stuck together and forged ahead.

Today, I’m mostly saddened for the people who are losing their jobs at a studio they love. And I’m also saddened at the loss of a studio that green-lit crazy ideas that no one else would consider. I’m comforted a bit knowing there are now so many new talented people and studios creating games in the evolving narrative genre. While I look forward to those games and new developments, and continuing to contribute,  I will always find “A Telltale Game” to have been a unique offering.

I know that Telltale will be remembered fondly for what it has done best.

Kevin

co-founder, Telltale Games.


 A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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14 Comments

LuccaCardoso1 (on 21 September 2018)

I saw that coming from miles away. That's what happens when you release a ton of games which are basically all the same but with different skins, without changing the gameplay even a little bit.


Spike0503 (on 22 September 2018)

COD does the same every year yet it makes tons of money. I think you have to point to how many games they were producing + the small niche of people who were into those types of games.


  • 0
LuccaCardoso1 (on 22 September 2018)

Yeah, but CoD is always the same franchise, and online matches are always different. Telltale games were disguised as different things but used the same engine, same graphics, same story structure, etc. But sure, the sheer number of games they were making and the decreasing number of consumers also played a big part on that.


  • 0
shikamaru317 (on 22 September 2018)

CoD definitely makes more changes than Telltale did. Telltale games have literally had the exact same gameplay formula ever since Walking Dead season 1 was a big success. CoD has new weapons, perks, killstreaks, etc. each year at least.


  • +3
Mr Puggsly (on 21 September 2018)

I'm guessing they expanded too quicky, too many releases, sales declined. I would hope they can stick around simply by releasing less and staying small.


StriderKiwi (on 21 September 2018)

All that and some poor leadership mandating a constant state of crunch time.


  • +2
CaptainExplosion (on 21 September 2018)

Aww, this sucks! I don't wanna see it close. :(


tripenfall (on 21 September 2018)

Surely they can't cancel the final episode of the Walking Dead halfway through it's release? These upcoming episodes would be already completed surely? I NEED closure!


StriderKiwi (on 21 September 2018)

Not sure if they'll find a way to finish the season, do one more episode to attempt to wrap things up, or just cancel the project outright. Really hoping its not the latter.


  • +1
LuccaCardoso1 (on 21 September 2018)

According to US Gamer (https://www.usgamer.net/articles/report-telltale-games-shutting-down-the-wolf-among-us-2-and-stranger-things-canceled), The Walking Dead Final Season, The Wolf Among Us 2 and Stranger Things were all cancelled.


  • +2
Rachy (on 21 September 2018)

Nooooooooooo my fave types of games to play as well! Gutted :(


tripenfall (on 21 September 2018)

Just doing some research - Telltale are currently in the process of releasing "The Walking Dead : The Final Season" and it's meant to be 4 episodes long. Episode 1 "Done Running" came out August 14th and Episode 2 "Suffer the Children" is meant to be out this Tuesday September 25th. According to Wiki the next two Episodes "Broken Toys" & "Take us Back" have been cancelled. Source - http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wiki/Season_4_(Video_Game) Surely they could not cancel the final game half way through? These episodes would be already completed no? I've been following the series from the start I NEED a conclusion!


Marth (on 21 September 2018)

I never played a TT game, but it's always sad to hear that a good studio is laying off people/closing altogether :(


ironmanDX (on 21 September 2018)

They were given 30 minutes to leave? Wow... Surely the latest season of walking dead sold well. Something seems up.


TallSilhouette (on 21 September 2018)

Well that's blindsiding. It can't have been financially motivated, could it? Their games were pretty successful for their production value.


StriderKiwi (on 21 September 2018)

Wolf Among Us, Walking Dead S1&2, and the first season of Batman were some of my favorite game narratives of this console generation. Sure the company started to make some bad decisions, but they were always unique enough to justify their existence. Microsoft, if you're watching, you should buy the company and rehire them. Under your supervision, I think something special could develop.


AngryLittleAlchemist (on 21 September 2018)

That would make quite a good acquisition since Microsoft is in desperate need of single-player oriented experiences. They bought Compulsion and Ninja Theory for that reason, after all!


  • 0
VAMatt (on 23 September 2018)

Sounds like were a little past acquisition time. They'd be acquiring the name, maybe some licenses, and that's about it. What they really need is the people, but the people are already gone.


  • 0
Immersiveunreality (on 22 September 2018)

Damn, wanted an end for the story.


Luke888 (on 22 September 2018)

Honestly it took them much more than I expect, it was clear as day that the managment of the development team was a mess, they just kept making new contracts when they weren't able to keep up with the schedules they already established, they also had difficulty in turning profit over their games, which means either they established bad conditions with the owners of the IPs they were working on or they had a bad development process. I think the team has closed down for the better, from what I heard the devs weren't working in a healthy condition, I wish they find a new and better job as soon as possible


Kerotan (on 21 September 2018)

So will the wolf among us 2 release? I hope so.


shikamaru317 (on 21 September 2018)

Latest reports say that Wolf 2, Stranger Things, and Walking Dead season 4 are all cancelled. The 25 man skeleton team is remaining to work on the tv adaptation of Minecraft Story Mode for Netflix, because of a contractual obligation.


  • +5
Podings (on 22 September 2018)

Serves them right for never finishing Bone.