Telltale Games is shutting down, co-founder Kevin Bruner confirmed in a post on his official website. Throughout their run, Telltale produced games based on The Walking Dead, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones. The company was based in San Raphael, California. The number of people laid off stands at 225, according to Variety.
Bruner wrote in the September 21 blog, that was simply titled, “Telltale Closure:”
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.
Here’s what you need to know:
Employees Have Taken to Twitter to Announce Their Departures From the Company
Bruner left Telltale in March 2017 when he was CEO over creative differences he had with the board of directors. He would go on to launch a lawsuit against the company in June 2018 to recover financial losses he suffered. Bruner alleged that he had pushed out of the company in he co-founded in 2004 after Telltale received investment from Lionsgate. Bruner said that the board of directors had cut off information from him as he sought to sell his shares, which resulted in a financial loss.
The company’s narrative designer, Emily Grace Buck, wrote on the Twitter page, “Hey, is anyone looking for an empathetic, kind Narrative Designer/Game Designer/ Writer for full time or contact work? Asking for me. I don’t have a job any more.”
There Has Been No Official Word From the Company
There has been no official word from the company regarding the closure. Rather, the company has posted two lighthearted tweets on September 21, one in references to Arby’s, the other in relation to Telltale’s gif archive:
The Verge reports that 25 staff members will remain with the company as a skeleton crew to ensure the next Walking Dead installment is released. The trailer for the game was released four days before the announcement of the company’s closing:
The report adds that employees were given notice on September 21 and then given 30 minutes to leave the premises. They will be given no severance, the Verge said. In a separate report, Kotaku described the layoffs as “widespread.”
In November 2017, Polygon reported that Telltale had laid off 90 people, 25 percent of their workforce, amid rumors of a toxic atmosphere and bad management. Staffers were reported to be unhappy about management interference and unrealistic deadlines. A few months later, in June 2018, Variety reported that Netflix and Telltale were teaming to release a new version of Minecraft titled, Minecraft: Story Mode. Variety described the move as being two years in the making.