Update: According to a statement from Telltale and Peter Hawley, The Walking Dead Final Season will also be ending after the next episode, with the remaining 25 employees being used to finish Minecraft: Story Mode. Once that is done, the studio will close for good.
A new spate of Telltale Games layoffs have devastated the studio’s numbers, leaving only 25 employees left to develop games. Even though the studio has become known for putting out well-reviewed episodic story games, it seems like that wasn’t enough for the studio to keep the vast majority of its employees.
While Telltale Games has been around for multiple years, since 2004, it managed to catapult itself into the spotlight with its hugely popular Walking Dead episodic game, allowing players to take on the role of a survivor in the universe of The Walking Dead, having to make hard decisions that could decide who lives and dies in subsequent episodes.
Since then, Telltale has released three seasons and one episode of The Walking Dead and a number of other Episodic games, such as two seasons of an episodic Batman game, Tales of the Borderlands, Minecraft Story Mode, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Wolf Among Us, and even a Game of Thrones game. However, despite its success, things weren’t so happy at the studio itself, especially among its employees.
The Telltale Games layoffs come several months after allegations began to surface of toxic management practices in the game, with such incidents as employees constantly being subjected to overwork, toxic management, and creative stagnation. The allegations led to a huge lawsuit from the studio’s former CEO Kevin Bruner, and the studio was forced to lay off 90% of its employees. Now it seems like these new Telltale Games layoffs are for a similar reason, and none of the employees are receiving severance pay.
This is a developing story, so we’ll likely be hearing more from Telltale in the future, but hopefully all of the employees impacted by the Telltale Games layoffs can find new jobs at other studios sometime in the future.
The Walking Dead’s final season is currently being worked on, and Episode 2 will be coming soon. The game is available for the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.