Telltale Games, citing a “difficult year” and underwhelming sales for the studio, have announced that they will be majorly downsizing their staff and effectively cancelling almsot all their current and future projects.
While 25 members of staff will stay on, this is being reported as a skeleton crew to finish off the Minecraft series for Netflix. 225 members of staff have lost their jobs with no severance pay.
This means that The Walking Dead: The Final Season will not have all four of its episodes released. Instead, it’s believed that the second episode landing on September 25th will be the last for the season with the studio effectively closed. Though they are still technically operating, layoffs of this magnitude mean that Telltale is all but finished. There is no news yet on what will happen with refunds for those who purchased The Walking Dead: The Final Season.
As well as The Walking Dead: The Final Season, Telltale were currently working on a second season of The Wolf Among Us and an adaptation of Stranger Things for Netflix. Dormant series’ like Tales From The Borderlands and Game of Thrones will now no longer presumably ever see a follow-up.
Telltale has been a company in trouble for a long time. Last year saw the studio also having to let go of 25% of its staff in November. In March, reports surfaced of less than ideal working conditions and a toxic environment at Telltale which forced employees to overwork with little to no additional pay.
A telling blow may have landed in June, however, when controversial ex-CEO Kevin Bruner sued the company after he was forced out and was owed money. According to Telltale’s defense in the lawsuit, they claim they were “now working to turn around the decline that it experienced under Plaintiff’s stewardship.” In other words, they believe Bruner was culpable for their downward turn, as well as the toxic environment cultivated at the studio.
While it’s sad that Telltale is basically no more, the key takeaway here is that many people, who reportedly were mistreated and overworked to begin with, have lost their jobs with no severance pay. Here’s hoping they all go on to find better jobs; #TelltaleJobs on Twitter is currently trying to help them find somewhere where their talents are appreciated.