Telltale lays off employees and cancels rest of The Walking Dead


Telltale lays off employees and shuts down. Now, fans of The Walking Dead series of games may not get closure. 

The Journey Comes to An End

Telltale, the development company behind The Walking Dead series has shut down shocking employees and gamers everywhere. I can recall not long ago being excited to play The Walking Dead: The Final Season.

I have followed Clementine’s story since the saga was released in 2012 and I was looking forward to seeing how her journey would end. But according to Forbes, that heartfelt ending may never be in the cards for us.

Yesterday, 250 employees of Telltale were told of their immediate termination and given only 30 minutes to exit the building. Severance pay was not offered and employee health benefits will run out in a week. That is an awful way to start a weekend.

Many employees relocated to the Bay Area to work for the development company and I can only imagine that is leaving them worried for themselves and their family. Even the company’s sole PR rep wasn’t given information as to why the company is being shut down.

In the press release, there was a statement issued from CEO Pete Hawley:

"“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.”"


Fortunately, other development companies near the area have been reaching out to ex-employees of Telltale to share job openings for those that were blindsided by the closure. So what does that mean for The Walking Dead: The Final Chapter? At first it was reported that a skeleton crew would stay behind to tie up loose ends and finish projects but according to US Gamer and an unnamed source, that’s not the case. The crew that were left behind are there to finish the contractually obligated project Minecraft: Story Mode for Netflix and the team responsible for The Walking Dead has been laid off.

That means that even though we will get chapter two of The Final Season, Clementine’s story is to remain unfinished and for players that paid for the season pass, this is infuriating news. Other projects like Stranger Things and The Wolf Among Us have also been cancelled but those aren’t hitting the pocketbooks of fans.

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Part of the closure may have been due to the “toxic” work environment that The Verge reported on earlier this year when Telltale lost some of its best developers due to bad management. From the article:

"“Some managers would try to alleviate the pain of crunch by supplying overtime workers with food or alcohol, “token gestures” sources say were an effort to make the process as comfortable as possible. “They were putting a Band-Aid on a wound that had been there for years,” the source says. “They were just trying to get their job done right now, but nobody was looking long-term and being like, ‘This is unsustainable.””"

I am among some of the people that are not happy about this. It is bad enough to lay off all of your hardworking and overworked employees with no severance pay, no warning and no explanation, but it is bad business to sell a product to consumers and then never follow through.

Hopefully, they will fill everyone in on more information once the dust settles and let the players know why they took their money with no return.

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What do you think of the Telltale closure? Let us know your opinions in the comment section below.