I’m no fan of their games, but damn, that’s a lot of people out of a job. Best of luck to them.
Clementine and Lee are on of my favorite duos. I enjoyed season 1 and 2. I don’t have 3 yet. I need to be in the mood to play one of their games.
That’s exactly it. They had a term for it, “Telltale Fatigue”.
I am also like 5 games behind, but I do want to catch up, eventually. Problem is, humble bundles where I get the games from do not net the money required to support such big studio. They never should have expanded so much and take on so many samey projects.
I mentioned this on twitter but if its true employees received no compensation then they should seek legal advice.
In California, companies must comply with WARN and must pay the final paycheck.
Yeah, before I had even finished the first Batman game, they came with another one! I also thought it was one of their weaker instalments, but Borderlands and Guardians were great. Must have been more expensive to make then I assume?
Holy shit, they aren’t even finishing the last season of Walking Dead!
I will miss them.
At least I have a large catalog of their games to still go through.
But I was really hoping to one day play Telltale’s Stranger Things game.
Hopefully wherever the developers of Telltale end up, maybe a heavy-story based studio similar to Telltale can be formed who makes similar style of games.
If all but two of their games lost money, that doesn’t seem like a strategy people are likely to be eager to emulate.
There was a fair amount of ink spilled about Telltale’s management struggles, especially given their obvious over-expansion. I believe there was a management change after Walking Dead that ended up sacrificing a lot of morale and senior employees. A lot of the press around the Idle Thumbs/Campo Santo guys ended up touching on it, as IIRC both Jake Rodkin and Nick Breckon were lead writers on some of their higher profile games (Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us).
But, given the background from those stories, I can’t say I’m surprised by this. I’m a little surprised they fell so hard and so completely, but it was clear that their growth and size were unsustainable.
I could always count the Telltale games to go super cheap for Black Friday or some other event, or get for free as toss ins.
I hope this doesn’t seem like slamming Telltale when they’re down (and out), or like self-aggrandizement, but when we were working on Before the Storm we happened to look at SteamSpy/Charts numbers for the Telltale games and compared them to Life Is Strange 1. It’s REALLY surprising. Telltale games don’t appear to sell terribly well (and also don’t have players coming back to them much–not a huge surprise, but LiS does way better here).
These AREN’T sales numbers, they’re concurrent players, but if you look at the number of concurrent users for different Telltale games, it’s kind of sad:
Again, all kinds of caveats to make when it comes to interpreting those numbers, but WAY fewer people play even the most popular Telltale games than play Life is Strange, a very similar title (at least on the surface) that’s been around longer than most of those TT titles.
I can totally buy that Telltale has never really been successful, since Walking Dead 1. Clearly they needed strong sales of the WD Final season in order to continue with their reconfiguration plan, and that just didn’t happen.
Any idea who may get assets? Telltale Tool engine may not be worth much commercially, but fanbase could use it to fix bugs and maybe do some closure fan episodes.
Their games did always seem to be on sale on Steam a lot. Like when the mom & pop restaurant down the street is always on Groupon.
Still, what a shame. Some of my absolute all-time favorites. Really liked the first two Walking Dead games, the Borderlands adventure game (enjoyed it 10x more than the Borderlands shooters) and Wolf Among Us.
Sad to hear. Hope that those affected manage to land on their feet.
For years I’ve wondered how Telltale made their expensive licensed IP, business model, and large studio size work together. Turns out the answer was, “They couldn’t.”
I guess I knew this subconsciously all along. In theory I was the perfect post-WD Telltale customer. I was a huge adventure game fan back in the day, and am a devotee of many of the IPs they used.
But in practice I seldom bought Telltale games. That’s because they seldom gave me anything I couldn’t get more of out of cheaper indy games (in terms of gameplay) or out of rewatching the actual main IP on Netflix or whatever (in terms of storytelling.) Telltale’s titles were solid, but never felt essential. A sobering lesson for anyone thinking of making licensed games in our current hyper-saturated media world.
Such sad news. I was really looking forward to The Wolf Among Us Season 2. I remember how excited I was when they revived Sam & Max back in the day and later Monkey Island. Even though those games didn’t match the legacy of the Lucas Arts classics, it helped lay a strong foundation for stronger future titles, including Wolf and Tales of the Borderlands, two of my favorite adventure games. Sad to see them leave so suddenly, especially with so much exciting work in the cooker. I hope everyone secures rewarding work ASAP. I wish Wolf 2 could’ve happened. :(
I saw this Steamspy capture over on Resetera, which painted a pretty grim picture of their post-The Walking Dead Season one performance. The studio’s titles released on heaps of platforms and they were working on so many huge IP contracts that I just assumed, despite the recent management issues, that the studio was doing well.
Here’s my ruthless, unfiltered perspective:
Telltale was basically a mid-tier franchise tie-in brand maker that made it big through some alignment of the stars… probably too big. They hired “up” and got some amazing talent, but were still aiming at mid-tier franchise brands. Even the best written licensed Star Wars Expanded Universe book ever is still just more Star Wars, and that kind of supermarket pulpy underbelly of their games just made them that much less interesting (to me).
LiS made me sniffle for the first time in 15 years. I’m a LiS’er for life. Despite “liking” Borderlands and certainly appreciating what they did, I just had no big desire to explore any of their other games.
It also, imo, doesn’t help that they hitched their cart because of that first big hit to a property whose cultural relevance was rapidly diminishing. I might have bit had they made games for different, more interesting properties (please lord, not superheroes!) They kept making games for a series whose TV show had passed into Lost levels of narrative nonsense and had lost its cultural significance.
Ugh, this is awful:
Between Telltale and the Dead Rising developer at Capcom Vancouver shutting down there were 400 jobs lost this week.
[quote=“Enidigm, post:94, topic:56234”]
Telltale was basically a mid-tier franchise tie-in brand maker that made it big through some alignment of the stars… probably too big. They hired “up” and got some amazing talent, but were still aiming at mid-tier franchise brands[/quote]
I don’t know if I agree with this. They got the rights to Game of Thrones at the height of its popularity. Batman will always be a hot property in gaming/comic/geek culture. From the outside looking in (with the benefit of hindsight), it does seem like Telltale’s projects were financially burdened with the costs of licensed IPs.
I think this raises a lot of questions if episodic content in the “Telltale style” is economically viable. I always bought these games early (so I didn’t lose track of them, to be honest) and played them after episode 5. But a lot of people are saying on Twitter/Reddit, they waited until after Episode 5 to buy them, or worse, waited until everything was out and it was on sale to buy them.