On September 21, 2018, Telltale Games announced the studio would begin closing down. Only 25 staff members will remain on board to finish remaining obligations. The official statement was released via the company’s Twitter account.
Here is the Telltale Games statement in full.
Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners. CEO Pete Hawley issued the following statement.
“It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”
Telltale will issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks.
While Telltale Games did not elaborate on the state of certain projects, US Gamer is citing anonymous sources stating that The Walking Dead: The Final Season has allegedly been canceled. Supposedly, this fourth season of the game will end after the second episode, “Suffer the Children.” It is suppose to launch on September 25, 2018.
In addition, Variety has received a statement from Netflix regarding the status of the Minecraft: Story Mode project Telltale Games had been working on for the streaming service. This would be an interactive, five episode adaptation that could be played via the Netflix client. It noted that Telltale Games’ Stranger Things project had been halted, but Minecraft: Story Mode for Netflix would continue onward.
Emily Grace Buck, a former Narrative Designer at Telltale Games, took to Twitter to offer information on the situation with the studio. While doing so, she said, “…keep in mind I am NOT a company rep.” Buck noted that The Wolf Among Us 2, the second season of the game based on the Vertigo Fables comic series, and Stranger Things were both canceled. Her tweets also said that it “seems like Walking Dead: The Final Season Ep 2 is still dropping Tuesday.” Her messages included that around 250 people lost their jobs, there is no severance, employees’ health insurance “only lasts for one more week,” and that unemployment is not an option since “many former employees were contract.” In later tweets, she noted that members of the studio “tried our best and/or couldn’t do anything” and “wanted to make good games for you.”
To clarify some questions people have been asking (and keep in mind I am NOT a company rep)
– Around 250 people are jobless, not 225
– We did not get any kind of severance
– Our healthcare only lasts for one more week
– Many former employees were contract & can’t get unemployment
— Emily Grace Buck plz hire TTG devs! #Telltalejobs (@emilybuckshot) September 22, 2018
The Walking Dead: The Final Season’s first episode, “Done Running,” released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 14, 2018. The second episode, “Suffer the Children,” is scheduled to appear on all three platforms on September 25, 2018. Before today’s announcement, the third episode was supposed to appear on November 6, 2018, and the fourth was set for December 18, 2018. A Nintendo Switch version of this season was also supposed to be in development. Physical copies of the fourth season of The Walking Dead: The Final Season were supposed to arrive on November 6, 2018 for $29.99 and include the first two episodes on the disc.