There was quite the shock when Telltale Games announced the studio was closing down. Prior to its closure, there were new installments to IPs from the development studio not to mention that the company was in the middle of its episodic release of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. However, the bottom fell out and it left hundreds of people out of a job and gamers worldwide wondering what would come of the latest season of The Walking Dead among other projects that were previously sought after by fans. Now that some time has passed since the development studio had closed its doors, former employees have spoken to Eurogamer about their time at the studio, specifically the last remaining months.
We recommend checking out Eurogamer’s full article as it does go into detail about the moral and overview of Telltale Games by developers. While most asked to remain anonymous, it appears that Telltale Games was seeing this coming for years. As it turns out there was some friction from the studio on the projects they worked on. For instance, it seems that the marketing team was really behind the choices on what was being crafted up by Telltale Games and with it came some massive goals that most saw to be unrealistic. From what we can tell, it appeared that Telltale Games was looking to catch the fame and success that the first season of The Walking Dead brought.
Despite not meeting the sales and numbers that the first season was able to capture, Telltale Games marketing team continued to seek out new seasons. For the projects that didn’t sell well but still received a cult following, the budget for a new installment was apparently abysmal which was the case for The Wolf Among Us 2. Even though the marketing team made the announcement and fans were interested in picking up the second season, the budget caused plenty of issues. From reports made to Eurogamer, it looks like the game was going to be a three-episode release that would follow a brand new adventure and not a direct sequel.
Crunch time was also a big problem which is something that most development studios deal with over the course of their various video game releases. The crunch time in particular for Telltale Games left several teams on edge even to the point where some would strategically work their days around avoiding certain individuals. Instead of uplifting meetings to encourage teams in providing a better product, there was instead verbal abuse with long work hours bleeding through the weekends. However, Telltale Games was working hard to avoid repeating this in the last year by encouraging employees to take time off if they worked extra or on a weekend.
Currently, Telltale Games will at least get one last release out though it won’t be under the original studio’s control. Skybound Games has stepped up to release the final two episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season which is slated to launch next year.