Telltale has confirmed that they have reduced their staff from 250 employees to 25 to “fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners.”
Telltale employees have suggested publicly and privately that the remaining employees are not working on The Walking Dead, as originally thought, but instead the Netflix deal for Minecraft Story Mode. USGamer has heard something similar from their sources.
If true, then The Walking Dead story that put Telltale on the map is doomed to go unfinished, two episodes short of its stated goal. It would also likely be the most prominent example of a season pass going unfulfilled, raising the question of what happens to people who purchased the full season, especially from a company that is seemingly filing for bankruptcy.
This is such horrible news. I’ve really enjoyed the majority of Telltale’s games over the last few years – Telltale’s Batman was one of my Games of the Year for 2016 – and never once thought the studio would completely close its doors. Worse still, the idea that the company wouldn’t survive long enough to complete the final season of The Walking Dead never even crossed my mind.
The high of that original game back in 2012 compared to the news from this last week is startling to say the least. I’ve seen comments from people online saying “this is why you shouldn’t buy season passes”, which is beyond absurd. This is the first (and hopefully last) of its kind: a single, extraordinary situation of a studio running out of runway way too fast. If anything, not buying a season pass seems to be what put the company in this situation in the first place.
Best of luck to everyone involved now looking for work. Studios out there should be more than happy to take some of these talented people in.