REPORT: Telltale Games Studio Hit with Massive Layoffs, Closure Possible

UPDATE: Telltale Games has released a statement about the news, confirming that they will be maintaining a skeleton crew to match their current game commitments, but being unclear of any future releases. CEO Pete Hawly added, "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 Games, which is most famous for its episodic games based on notable licensed properties, is reportedly reducing its staff dramatically and might actually be forced to close in the near future.

Telltale is most famous for its games based on The Walking Dead. It recently launched its final Walking Dead tie-in game, The Walking Dead: The Final Season, and it appears as though they will, at the very least, finish production on that game. Kotaku reports that the company has laid off a large number of their developers, with social media reports from some of the developers noting that the firings have not been accompanied with severance pay.

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Telltale Games launched in 2004 when a group of LucasArts employees formed their own company. They first got into the licensed gaming business with a game based on the TV series, CSI, but the company was really put on to the map when it released its 2012 licensed The Walking Dead game. However, there have been a number of troubling reports about the company in recent years. There were claims of a negative work environment tied to forcing its employees to work under "crunch conditions" (meaning working 20 hour days or 100 hour work weeks). In March of 2017, Kevin Bruner, CEO of the company and one of its co-founders, left the company and later filed a lawsuit against Telltale Games. In November of 2017, the company fired 90 employees.

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However, in recent months, it appeared as though the company had turned things around. They announced an upcoming partnership with Netflix to create a Stranger Things game. They had also announced a sequel to its Fables-inspired video game, The Wolf Among Us. While initially intended as a 2018 release, The Wolf Among Us 2 had already been delayed to a 2019 release. Still, it appeared as though they were moving forward with new games.

With these new layoffs, though, it appears as though the future of the company might be in jeopardy. There are rumors that the company will maintain a small skeleton crew to maintain the completion of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, but that Stranger Things and The Wolf Among Us 2 are, for all intents and purposes, canceled.

Here is Telltale Games' statement on the news:

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