Telltale Games to Close and The Walking Dead Final Season May Never Be Finished
News spread over the weekend regarding the sudden closure of Telltale Games, a studio for bringing us their fantastic The Walking Dead adaptation, Wolf Among Us, Tales of the Borderlands and more. This is particularly strange news because just last week press releases were sent out announcing that Telltale would be publishing island survival game, Stranded Deep to PS4 and Xbox One, after it left its PC Steam Early Access stage.
So the news that Telltale Games would be closing its doors has rocked the gaming community, both with its fans, press media and fellow developers from other companies. It was reported by US Gamer (sister site of Eurogamer) that more than 200 members of staff would lose their jobs with no severance pay and a small team of 25 would stay on to fulfil the “company’s obligations to its board and partners.” Now it would be safe to assume that this remaining small team would stay on to finish the final season of The Walking Dead to conclude Clementine’s story. However, it was revealed that this crew would not be finishing The Walking Dead or any future projects, but will instead work on the Minecraft Story Mode series for Netflix.
I know that a closure of a company is never good, especially with job losses. But there have been reports in the past of Telltale staff being massively overworked, with high pressures to reach strict deadlines and the fact that staff have been suddenly laid-off with no compensation, perhaps says a lot about the company. Then you consider all those loyal fans that put money down on The Walking Dead: Final Season to receive all four promised episodes, will no longer be fulfilled. Sorry if this comes across as angry, that’s because I am, as I love Telltale’s The Walking Dead series especially, and I have no shame in admitting that the conclusions to season’s one and two had me crying like a baby, and trust me, it takes a lot for any video game or movie to have me being that emotionally invested, which is a testament to the great work done by Telltale Games developers.
Telltale will be keeping on some staff solely to satisfy the bigwigs at Netflix with no regard to fans that have paid upfront for four episodes and not only that, but we’ve been emotionally invested in Clementine’s story since 2012, and now we’re been robbed of her ending. Episode 2 of the Final Season releases this week, and while I have the season pass, I was waiting for all episodes to release for me to binge them. But if we are only going to get 2 out of 4 episodes, I don’t think I’ll bother playing them, knowing that I won’t get a true end to Clem’s story.
But it’s not just The Walking Dead series that will suffer, because at this time we will never see The Wolf Among Us season two, the Stranger Things adaptation, a conclusion to the Batman series or even Game of Thrones, which ended on one hell of a cliff-hanger.
Thankfully there has been some shining light at the end of the tunnel, because some of the industry’s leading development studios have reached out to the former employee’s at Telltale Games to offer them some new work, so that’s fantastic and I hope that they all find work soon.
Will a publisher come in to save the day and pick up Telltale Games IP’s? Only time will tell, but THQ, we’re looking at you! With all that said I think there’s no better way to end this article then having the words of actor Melissa Hutchinson, the voice of Clementine after she posted an emotional statement on Twitter:
Hello friends. I am so very deeply moved by the messages of love that I, and the folks from @telltalegames have been receiving. Yesterday was one of the toughest days ever. A lot of hearts were broken, including mine. Please read the attached. #TelltaleJobs #Clementine #TWD pic.twitter.com/Fb68z86j8e
— Melissa Hutchison (@Melyhutch) September 22, 2018