Saturday 22nd September saw the beginning of the end for Telltale Games, one of my favourite video game studios.
There had long been rumour of financial difficulties at the company, but no fans really believed it was quite that bad. The statements released on social media were a bitter pill to swallow:
Very little information has been made public, with the exception of a few (understandably) disgruntled former employees and gaming journalists airing out their thoughts on social media and blogs. I’ve heard that they were already struggling financially and then potentially bit off more than they could chew by purchasing the licenses to make games for popular franchises such as Stranger Things, but there’s not necessarily any proof to back this up.
The numbers had seemingly dwindled in the last few years; this was likely the biggest factor as stated in the original press release.
As a somewhat devoted fan to the studio, it’s saddening to think there will be no more games produced by Telltale. The highly anticipated follow up to 2013’s The Wolf Among Us was due a release on Q4 of 2018, in addition to the new games in 2019 too.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment for myself and many other Telltale fans is the resolution – or lack thereof – for the final season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. Now in its fourth and final season, Telltale’s The Walking Dead were easily the most popular games in their vault, and players such as myself were keen to learn how it would all end for Clementine.
The incredible writing and art direction in these titles helps the player really gain an emotional connection with the characters, something all good story-based games (and of course movies and television) should achieve. Players have been hunting zombies with Clementine since 2012, and many hoped for a positive end to the series.
Some speculated Clementine’s death, but no-one quite expected it in this fashion.
You see, these games are released in seasons. You purchase the game, and a new season (normally 4 or 5) becomes available every couple of months. The first episode released back in August, and the second is/was due to come out tomorrow (September 25th). The word is that the second episode will be released as planned, but there’s a high chance that episodes 3 and 4 won’t ever see daylight. This means that we’ll never know whether or not Clementine was destined to survive the end of the world or not. I’d almost be happy if we could even read the draft script to see what they had in store, but I’m not going to hold my breathe – I’d imagine everything to do with the game will be embargoed for the foreseeable future.
Gone for good?
I have slim hopes that Telltale will get bought out by another developer, but my hopes for the full game, I just can’t see it happening. Almost the entire team has been fired, leaving just 25 core staff whom will most likely be next on the chopping block.
Miracles have happened before, but I think this spells the end for Telltale Games.