Telltale Games have announced that the studio will be closing down after what has apparently been a very difficult year. All the company employees have been laid off, although Ubisoft are now looking to hire some, if not all of them.
The company issued a statement via twitter, saying that a group of 25 employees stayed aboard to take care of Telltale's outstanding obligations to the board and partners. Peculiarly though, the laid off employees will not receive severance and were given only 30 minutes to get out.
Telltale's CEO Pete Hawley said the year 2018 saw everyone working hard on setting a new course for the company but they "ran out of time trying to get there." He argues that some of their best stuff came out this year though, even if sales ultimately failed to reflect that.
Ironically enough, the company's meteoric rise in 2012 with The Walking Dead seems to have had as much to do with Telltale's downfall as with their rise to prominence. Success meant bigger projects and more of them, which naturally required more people.
There were reports of Telltale developers practically working in a never-ending crunch, with a pipeline that made work even more difficult. Many people simply didn't know others and even if they did, developers were constantly rotated by the management. The people who cared the most were constantly the ones paying the biggest price, which led to many of them leaving.
Interestingly, Ubisoft openly pounced on the opportunity and tweeted an offer for Telltale's now-former employees to meet up with them for job openings. This would not be the first time Ubisoft are welcoming Telltale's refugees though, since Pierre Shorette, Nick Herman, Dennis Lenart and Adam Sarasohn did so together sometime in 2017.
Telltale Games were showing signs of trouble for a while now though, having laid off a quarter of its workforce in November 2017, which amounts to 90 developers. On a lighter note though, Telltale employees who left the company earlier gave us Oxenfree and Firewatch, so it's unlikely that all that creative talent will go to waste.