In a shocking and upsetting bit of news over the weekend came the revelation that Telltale Games, the studio behind a number of narrative adventures over the years including The Walking Dead, Batman, and The Wolf Among Us - has been reduced to a skeleton crew. Which means that The Walking Dead Final Season which has a new episode out this week, will not be completed.
The following statement was released.
Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners. CEO Pete Hawley issued the following statement:
“It's been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”
Telltale will issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks.
A huge swell of developers took to social media to confirm the news, stating on numerous occasions that what's happening is in effect a closure. And so all upcoming projects have been cancelled - including the second season of The Wolf Among Us and the Stranger Things project in development with Netflix.
Telltale Games was founded in 2004 by ex-LucasArts employees where it first rose to prominence thanks to reviving the Sam & Max franchise. The turning point for the studio though, for many, came with the release of The Walking Dead in 2012 which forever changed the concept of a narrative adventure game - where character, story, and choices, took precedent over puzzles or exploration. It sparked a string of successful releases that found success on several platforms - including mobile.
The most upsetting part of course, is that this abrupt closure has left many talented designers, writers, and artists without a source of income. On Twitter the hashtag #TelltaleJobs is trending to help people find their feet.
A sad turn of events for a once prominent and influential studio - and again, this means that The Walking Dead Final Season will end abruptly after Episode 2.