Telltale Games laid off over 250 employees, seeking majority closure — the long-time developer is essentially dead. With a small skeleton crew of 25 artists, they’re only seeking to complete the Minecraft Story Mode episodes. The Walking Dead: The Final Season might never be completed.
It’s a sad, abrupt ending for a pretty influential studio. The developer kept adventure games alive for years, then became cinematic storytellers that worked with massive licenses like Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy. It all started with Bone — an adventure game based on the Eisner Award-winning comic series. From there, they continued with smaller games, and that’s where I first learned about Telltale Games.
In the early days, Telltale pioneered episodic gaming with Sam & Max, Back To The Future, Homestar Runner, and Monkey Island. Essentially, they targeted properties that were my favorite things as a kid of the 90’s. Their light-hearted, fun work never really reached legendary status — the actual puzzles were pretty basic, and the animations were a little rough. But, these games had a lot of charm.
There’s a lot to say about Telltale Games. We tried to fit all of our opinions in the retrospective video above, from the buggy beginnings to the sudden fall at the end — and you’ll also find our top list of favorite Telltale Games ever made. There’s a surprisingly long list from the pre-The Walking Dead days, that just goes to show how much of a super-fan I was.
Here’s a quick list of the games we talk at length about. List is presented chronologically, not in order of quality:
- Sam & Max: Season 3
- Tales of Monkey Island
- Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People
- The Walking Dead: Season 1
- The Wolf Among Us
- Tales From The Borderlands
- Batman: The Enemy Within
That’s seven games that are downright awesome, or just awesome nostalgic. I would recommend hunting down any of these games if you’re a fan of Telltale. I know I was. And hearing about the crappy working conditions, which seemed to spur from the mad-dash for another huge hit after The Walking Dead: Season 1, has been a depressing realization. Telltale Games wasn’t immune to the pressures that many video game developers face, and eventually succumbed to bad management.
There are plenty of ways to say “what if” — but I’m going to celebrate the good games they released. Here’s hoping that all the talented people that lost their jobs at Telltale will find good work again.
What were some of your favorite Telltale Games? Let us know in the comments section!