Oh man, this news is going to be hard to bear for fans of narrative/visual novel-style/adventure gaming, especially on a Saturday morning.
TellTale Games, the folks behind the Walking Dead adventure games, the recent Monkey Island and Sam & Max games, and the very recent Batman adventure games, are facing a “majority studio closure”. There will be 25 employees left in the company to “fulfil the company’s obligations to its board and partners,” essentially to finish up the final chapters of The Walking Dead Telltale game.
This also means that the Stranger Things game and the sequel to The Wolf Among Us are cancelled.
Here’s a statement from the studio’s CEO Pete Hawley (via GamesIndustry.biz)
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 related news, Netflix has issued the following statement regarding their recent partnership with Telltale Games.
We are saddened by the closing of Telltale games – they developed many great games in the past and left an indelible mark in the industry. ‘Minecraft: Story Mode’ is still moving forward as planned. We are in the process of evaluating other options for bringing the ‘Stranger Things’ universe to life in an interactive medium.
This sad news started earlier today via the plethora of social media posts from various Telltale Games concerning mass layoffs at the studio. The laid-off staff will not receive severance pay according to USGamer.