Telltale Games, creators of episodic adventure games like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Batman: The Enemy Within, laid off a large number of its staff today. The company will retain a small team of 25. According to multiple sources The Verge spoke with, employees were let go with no severance.
“Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges,“ the company said in a statement. “A majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning.” The remaining employees will stay on “to fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners,” according to Telltale.
Co-founder and former CEO Kevin Bruner (he left Telltale over a year ago), on his personal site:
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.
This news comes several months after Ms. Farokhmanesh first reported on the turmoil inside of Telltale Games following their meteoric rise. Yet, a few months after Ms. Farokhmanesh’s reporting, the studio announced it had (among other developments) partnered with Netflix to create a game adaptation of Stranger Things, which led me to believe things were getting a little bit better.
I really wanted them to pull through. Telltale had some of the best art- and narrative-driven games I’ve ever played. There was a lot of talent inside that studio, and I hope they all end up alright.