Telltale Games, which is most famous for its episodic games based on notable licensed properties, is reportedly reducing its staff dramatically and might actually be forced to close in the some time in the future.
Kotaku reports that the company has laid off a large number of their developers, with social media reports from some of the developers noting that the firings have not been accompanied with severance pay.
The gaming studio launched in 2004 when a group of LucasArts employees formed their own company. They first got into the licensed gaming business with a game based on the TV series, CSI, but the company was really put on to the map when it released its 2012 licensed The Walking Dead game. However, there have been a number of troubling reports about the company in the last number of years.
Claims of a negative work environment began to surface as the company was tied to forcing its employees to work under “crunch conditions.” In March of 2017, Kevin Bruner, CEO of the company and one of its co-founders, left the company and later filed a lawsuit against Telltale Games. In November of 2017, the company laid off 90 employees.
Recently however, it seemed as though the company had managed to salvage its brand. They announced an upcoming partnership with Netflix to create a Stranger Things game. They had also announced a sequel to its Fables-inspired video game, The Wolf Among Us. While initially intended as a 2018 release, The Wolf Among Us 2 had already been delayed to a 2019 release. Still, it appeared as though they were moving forward with new games.
Additionally, in a new report from US Gamer, Telltale Games will end the ongoing series The Walking Dead: The Final Season after the release of the second episode next week. Despite a cessation of work on The Walking Dead, the studio will continue work on Minecraft Story Mode.
Telltale Games has not released a statement on the future of the company as of yet, so this story is still very much developing.