Telltale Games has laid off the majority of its staff - reportedly around 225 people - in a ‘majority studio closure’. 25 employees remain at the company, though most projects have reportedly – understandably – been cancelled.
The layoffs were confirmed via a tweet on the official Telltale Games account, blaming a year ‘marked by insurmountable challenges’ for the decision.
Telltale’s CEO, Pate 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.”
In a statement sent to Variety, Netflix confirmed it was ‘evaluating other options’ for bringing Stranger Things to the world of gaming, indicating the project with Telltale, announced this year, is not going ahead. Minecraft: Story Mode will be continuing, however, with that game appearing to be the sole focus for what remains of the studio.
As for other projects – including the ongoing Walking Dead’s final season, they are unlikely to continue as things stand. This will come as a particular blow to fans of the zombies-aren’t-as-bad-as-people series, as this final run had already made its way to retail – it will, it seems, just be stopping in its tracks.
Telltale’s now former employees have been posting their availability on social media, and other studios have been stepping forward with support – and potential job offers. At least one tiny heartwarming thing came via Ubisoft’s offer of a free lunch and a bit of headhunting. Hopefully those impacted can land on their feet okay.