Across the weekend, staff at Telltale Games were devastated by the sudden closure of the studio, prompting a wave of discussion in the video game industry. Caught in the crossfire is the last two episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, however it seems that Telltale has offered a lifeline as it is working with potential partners to finish its hard work.
Although Telltale Games had a turbulent year, all seemed to be looking up for the studio with its impending switch to the Unity engine and hiring of staff less than a week prior to the shocking termination of its employees. 225 employees were sadly left to find another job, prompting the industry to come together to create the trending hashtag #TelltaleJobs on Twitter. Housed within the hashtag is an overwhelming amount of video game studios reaching out to help, including Blizzard, Ubisoft, Guerrilla Games, Riot Games and many more.
Well, that's one way of looking at game development. pic.twitter.com/4PgDUn9HQF
— Richard Cobbett (@richardcobbett) September 24, 2018
Unfortunately, not all news was welcome. Displeased fans of Telltale’s The Walking Dead were left wondering what fate would befall the unfinished title, particularly as it concerned a product that had been paid for but would potentially go unfulfilled. Left in limbo, many took to harassing the former employees, going as far as to demand that they work for free. Fortunately for all affected by the tribulation, there’s a possibility that Clementine’s story will get told after all.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Telltale revealed that “multiple potential partners have stepped forward to express interest in helping to see The Final Season through to completion.” The studio kept hush on who these potential partners may be, and stressed that this was not a guarantee of any kind while talks are still in motion.
— Telltale Games (@telltalegames) September 24, 2018
Many are still sceptical about the whole ordeal, stating that it would be a difficult process with the original team gone, particularly having left on such unceremonious terms. There are also ethical concerns given that each and every member of staff was released without severance due to a “complete financial shutdown,” although this likely remains a lifeline for the IP rather than the studio itself. Whatever the case, eyes are firmly fixated on the future of the series, and what lies ahead for the talented developers that brought it to life in the first place.
KitGuru Says: While it is unacceptable for a company to leave its customers out of pocket under any circumstance, it’s certainly not the obligation of former developers who have been burned by the situation themselves. It would be interesting to see where the IPs and staff land moving forward. What would you like to see happen to The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and the remaining properties?