Telltale Games has built a reputation as a company that values engaging narratives over gameplay. Telltale is also known for taking liberties with existing source material for established characters and creating new and fresh stories such as Batman: The Telltale Series and Batman: The Enemy Within. Unfortunately it seems like these narrative based adventures seem to be coming to an end.
USGamer reports that “Telltale Games is closing its doors for good according to multiple reports online. Telltale employees are also posting on social media that they are no longer employed with the company. An anonymous source familiar with the situation has told USgamer that Telltale’s closure was going to be complete.” USGamer seems to signal that the end began for Telltale after the video game company laid of 90 employees due to restructuring in 2017. The site points to its report on the layoffs, “sources told us that following The Walking Dead Telltale suffered from a constant culture of crunch that pushed employees to release games as quickly as possible. In addition to overbearing management teams that oftentimes meddled in projects, the Telltale Tool proprietary engine was prone to bugs, making development even more difficult.”
Telltale Games is currently in the middle of its rollout for its final season of The Walking Dead. USGamer reports that sources tell them that a skeleton crew will complete The Walking Dead Final Season. Telltale Games also had a sequel to The Wolf Among Us and a game based on the Netflix TV show Stranger Things in development, but according to USGamer, those games are now canceled. The Verge reports that approximately 25 employees will stay on with the company as part of the skeleton crew completing The Walking Dead Final Season. Telltale Games has not made an official comment regarding the news that the company is shutting its doors.
It is shame that a company known for its creative approach to gaming is shutting its doors. Not everyone appreciated the liberties it took with existing source material or its approach or lack thereof to gameplay, but most would agree that the company always tried to create a compelling experience with its games. Here’s hoping that the spirit of Telltale Games lives on in future companies or games.