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Bruner: Telltale closure wasn't because of sales or products

Published: 14:46, 16 April 2019
Telltale Games
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Telltale Games

In the aftermath of the studio's unfortunate closure, co-founder of Telltale Games Kevin Bruner said that it wasn't game sales that did the studio in, nor was it down to employees, whose passion is unparalleled. No, closure came from above.

Having stepped down as CEO of Telltale Games back in 2017, Bruner ended up suing the company he helped make, arguing that the board had been trying to change the company's business model and remove him as CEO. 

Most people were either confused or angered by the move at the time, and Telltale's management responded saying they're only trying to save what was left after Bruner's tenure as CEO.

"When I filed my suit, people were like 'What the hell' - they didn't understand the dynamics of what we were dealing with. I think now it paints a much clearer picture of what kind of circumstances we are all dealing with now", Bruner said.

It has been suggested that Telltale's demise was due to diminishing sales, formulaic approach to development, relentless crunch and such, but Bruner insists none of these had anything to do with it. 

"I think [growing a studio] incrementally one step at a time is hard and it takes time and [investors] want to go for broke and do things more quickly and aggressively. I think that's kind of the circumstances that led to [the closure]. 'Where are we going to get the next big giant growth spurt from? We have to be all in on that'", he said.

Looking for that next giant step, however, introduces risk and while Bruner thinks that nobody willingly gambled away the company, their intentions and the adverse effect they've had are there for all to see, he thinks. 

In fact, if he had to do it all over again, growth is the first think Bruner would keep in check, because "the big studio is a beast that needs to be fed".

Telltale Games Screenshot of Bruce Wayne from Batman: The Telltale Series Batman: The Telltale Series

Bruner also reflected on the crunch, which is something Telltale is said to have been notorious for, claiming that many talented people were given a lot of responsibility, which is why they got to greate great work. 

You can find Bruner's full interview with GameInformer here

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