Telltale set to close?

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DjchunKfunK
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Telltale set to close?

Post by DjchunKfunK » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:07 pm

Reports are coming out that all but 25 of the 250 staff at Telltale games are being laid-off. It was originally reported that the studio was closing, but was clarified later that 25 staff would remain. I guess they will just see the release of the Walking Dead final series and maybe a bit of support after launch and then that will be that.

Sad that so many people lost their jobs and also that we wont be getting a Wolf Among Us series 2.

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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by DjchunKfunK » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:56 pm

There is a tweet doing the rounds that after the first series of The Walking Dead none of the subsequent series of games they made made any money.

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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Jez » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:36 pm

Bit surprising I feel. Though to be fair I've never bought this sort of game myself. They still seemed to get good sales though overall and the media reception was always good from what I remember.
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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Alan » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:30 am

I feel like it was only a few weeks ago they were talking about a new engine. You’d have thought they’d have known then but that could have been in a bid to find a buyer.

I only played the first TWD and thought it was real bad but I was clearly in the minority there and either way it still sucks to see people’s jobs go up in smoke. I do own most of their games right enough so I wasn’t to blame!
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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Achtung Englander » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:47 am

Damn. Not sure of their business model but if they paid royalties or a license to get the franchise's to do their games I am not surprised they lost money. Those franchise's must have cost a bomb
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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by DjchunKfunK » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:00 am

I was thinking about it yesterday evening and I'm honestly not that surprised to hear that they struggled to make money. Nearly every series after the Walking Dead reduced in price pretty quickly, you could often find the full series for a tenner not long after the final episode was out. Added to that they were at around 250-300 employees. Not exactly a recipe for success.

The engine talk was a few months back eVol when they went through a first round of restructuring. Wolf Among Us 2 was going to be the first title made using Unity. Apparently the deal with Netflix was supposed to save them, but it fell apart.

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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Hatredsheart » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:51 am

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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Jez » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:31 am

Yep sounds like they reached further than their grasp financially. Poor management cost those jobs.
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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Raid » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:05 am

DjchunKfunK wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:00 am
I was thinking about it yesterday evening and I'm honestly not that surprised to hear that they struggled to make money. Nearly every series after the Walking Dead reduced in price pretty quickly, you could often find the full series for a tenner not long after the final episode was out. Added to that they were at around 250-300 employees. Not exactly a recipe for success.
The episodic format just seemed to be a terrible idea for actually making money. Why buy an episodic game upon initial release when you know in a year's time the game will be a third of the price and you'll be able to play the entire thing in one go. Nobody seems to actually *like* episodic games - the format works for TV because the schedule is much more regular; an hour once a week is much more enticing than two hours every few months. Add that to one of the, in my opinion anyway, least enticing gameplay styles, and it's not a recipe for success. Everyone seems sad about the closure because the stories were good, but I just don't think a good story can be the entire premise of a videogame.

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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Jez » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:28 pm

I like a good story I'll literally play any genre if the story is solid. But I agree about the episode thing it puts me off. Was same with hit man recently.
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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Lee » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:12 pm



Employees only be told on the day they were fired about it, is a real scummy thing to do. They could have given them time to look for other work instead of that.

Using these licenses was a real dumb move for what is a niche community for these type of games. They were relying on the success of the first Walking dead game and that seems to have dropped completely in sales as each part was release. Something that I believe has happened with first episode in the other series. Good sales but next chapters much less bought hence all these sales on them to entice people to get them.

They might have lasted doing original IP's and ditched the episodic model. But even then management let the success of the first game go right over their heads and expanded way to fast and big to keep it going with the same momentum.

Episodic gaming has never worked out and never will, as Raid said you'd just wait for the full game to be released and it would be cheaper overall.
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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Sly Boots » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:05 am

Sounds like the final season of TWD may well be finishing (unfinished) when the second episode drops this week:

https://www.pcgamer.com/uk/clementines- ... nfinished/

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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Wrathbone » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:22 am

As much as I enjoyed many of their games, and as sad as it is for them to close, it does seem like they only have themselves to blame. They milked the absolute last drop out of that godawful engine and used the same formulaic approach to each of their adventures, so their development costs presumably were limited to creative assets (art, writing and voice over). I can understand why they thought that would balance out the cost of some high profile IPs. What I can't understand is how they budgeted for so many IPs, many of which fell by the wayside. Who in their right mind buys a Game of Thrones licence at the height of its popularity and then abandons it after one season?! I think it was soon afterwards that they grabbed licences for Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy and another major one I forget. They had the attention span of a particularly distracted goldfish.

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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Sly Boots » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:32 am

See also Tales from the Borderlands and The Wolf Among Us, which were arguably their two best series, neither of which got a second season (I know TWAU was belatedly set to get one, but that is surely now not going to happen).

Their success with TWD - and it is a success, I've enjoyed every iteration - shows the strength of building a world and establishing a set of characters that you keep coming back to, but that series aside they were forever turning to something new. Given there will have been a fanbase for those games who would jump at further seasons, they seemed to think the fanbase was for them as a developer and people would keep coming back for every new IP they launched.

That certainly wasn't the case for me; while I've enjoyed many of their games, I had zero interest in playing a Batman, GotG or Minecraft adventure game, so those ones I ignored. I'd have jumped at further seasons of TWD, TWAU and TFTB though, even GoT which, despite being panned by a lot of players, I really enjoyed despite it killing off almost every non-canon character with impious glee.

Different genres obviously, but I can help but compare it with Traveller's Tales, who from a business model point of view do something very similar, putting out licensed games with existing IPs. TT seem to wring every last bit of value from their licenses with multiple games for each IP... it may be overkill to be honest for me, though I do pick most of them up in sales, but people keep buying them over and over.

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Re: Telltale set to close?

Post by Achtung Englander » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:39 pm

He is not wrong

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