Unexpected video game news broke late Friday, Sept. 21.
Telltale Games, the company known for “The Walking Dead” and “The Wolf Among Us,” had laid off most of their staff, only keeping 25 employees onboard.
At first, those 25 people were believed to be finishing up their most recent game, “The Walking Dead: The Final Season.” They have only released the first episode with the second due out Sept. 25.
Now reports are saying these 25 remaining employees are instead working on “Minecraft: Story Mode” for Netflix and “The Walking Dead: The Final Season” has been cancelled.
This news saddened and surprised many.
Telltale Games was a beloved company who released emotional journeys, from Clementine’s story in “The Walking Dead” to the drama of House Forrester in “Game of Thrones.”
Telltale Games knew how to tell a story that kept you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire journey. They were even able to inject some of their narrative expertise into “Minecraft” and created a great younger audience aimed game, “Minecraft: Story Mode.“
They rejuvenated a dead genre: the point-and-click adventure game. They brought it to the forefront once again by forcing players to make hard decisions while going through many tissue boxes.
Without them, it is quite possible that other companies would not have tried to create games like Dontnod Entertainment’s “Life is Strange” or Quantic Dream’s “Detroit: Become Human.” Each of these put their own spin on the adventure game genre while also taking inspiration from Telltale.
The people of Telltale knew how to tell a story and were experts at it. They even had plans for many more series: “The Wolf Among Us 2,” “Batman Season 2,” the rest of “The Walking Dead: The Final Season” and even a “Stranger Things” adventure series.
Their games filled social media with playthroughs, twitch streams and memes. Sadly, that attention did not equate to sales, with many choosing to watch the games rather than buy them themselves.
With this closure, 250 highly skilled people are left without a job. Luckily, the rest of the gaming industry has been reaching out on social media, calling for these employees to join their teams.
These 250 people are great storytellers, and their abilities should not be wasted. Hopefully they can find companies that will let them expand their narrative expertise and we can see more stories from these people.
As for Telltale Games, it is a sad day in gaming. They will always be remembered for their large catalogue of intriguing tear-jerking storytelling and their ability to bring the point-and-click adventure game genre to modern times.
If you want to experience the joys that Telltale Games brought to the gaming world, you can find their games all over the internet. Some of their best work can be found in “The Walking Dead,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Wolf Among Us” and “Batman.”
If those are not your style, they have also made gems like “Tales from the Borderlands,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Minecraft: Story Mode.” All of them are great.
Each one will have you on the edge of your seat, anticipating what comes next all because of Telltale’s mastery of storytelling.
Goodbye, Telltale Games. As Kenny from “The Walking Dead” said, “I am with you to the end.”