Sad news that the narrative-driven story maker Telltale Games has reportedly began the process of shutting down it’s game studio reached us this week via a tweet from company president Pete Hawley.
According to Hawley, the move came as the company was trying to re-brand itself into other areas. Their open-world shark-infested survival game, Stranded Deep, was set to release for consoles and Steam in early October. But, as Hawley put it, “we ran out of time.” The company has laid off about 250 people, and announced that games like The Walking Dead series would end, likely right where they are now in an unfinished state. One game, Minecraft Story mode, should still get an ending, as the remaining 25 employees at the Telltale will make that game their soul focus in the coming weeks.
Hawley, wrote: “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.”
They had other projects in the works as well, including the much-anticipated Stranger Things adaptation, which likely would have taken the form of the Telltale classic Walking Dead series.
Netflix sent a statement to Variety magazine saying that they planned to move ahead with the game in some form, just using another developer or studio. They said they were in the process of trying to find out who that would be, which should not be too difficult given how explosively popular that series is at the moment.
Other developers and publishers have been anxious to try and snatch up some of the best writers and programmers from Telltale. Ubisoft reportedly sent an offer of lunch to the fired staff to go along with some old fashion recruitment.
Telltale Games was known for quality titles that relied heavily on narrative and story. GiN reviewed several series of great games from Telltale over the years, including The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. It’s a safe bet that many gamers will miss their unique brand of narrative gameplay in the coming years, and that Telltale will surely be missed.