You know.. I never thought I would have to write this. I felt the same will Bullfrog, The same with Lionhead, but from it’s early years I’ve been very close to Telltale, mainly due to their close ties to Steve Purcell who I’m proud to say signed a lot of art that currently resides on my walls at home.
So this statement was released from Telltale games today:
You know it sucks to be told any time your jobs gone, it’s worse when your literally all called to the front foyer to be told by upper management that as of that minute you’re unemployed due to poor sales. Grabbing any personal items left (under watch of security) and go.
For Telltale, you could say the writings been on the wall for the last few series, Batman never sold as well as they hoped. Guardians didn’t translate well to sales in what should have been an easy hit in this marvel era of movies, and with prolonged development on the Wolf series and Walking Dead, the money pot just ran out, long before the tide could be turned. Sure you could blame the engine running these narrative games, or just say like the Guitar Hero/Rockband genre it became over saturated and stale without further improvements, or it could just be a simple case of the public moving on…
At the end of the day the one thing that should be noted is today a family, a close family that shared and created stories that were passed around the world have been broken up.. given Wolf series 2 was close to completion for release, it’s almost criminal that the fans won’t get to see these final chapters.
Did everyone deserve forewarning about how volatile the companies position was prior to the release? Yes.
Is there a responsibility by Telltale to assist the departing teams in finding further employment in the industry by inviting nearby software houses to promote to ease transitions? Yes.
Is the Gaming industry in need of union representation to avoid these kind of situations to occur, and give the developers a level of right other industries take for granted? Yes.
I Suspect like Midway before it, the vultures are swooping round looking at the IPs deciding which ones should be carried off from the still warm corpse in the hopes of profiting from the situation, and while that’s pure business, please spare a thought for all the families that will be affected by this announcement today.