Telltale Games, the studio behind titles such as The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, has laid off most of its staff in what it's calling a "majority studio closure." The publisher told Engadget in a statement that "a majority of the company's employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company's obligations to its board and partners."
To clear up the Telltale confusion:— Jeffrey Grubb (@JeffGrubb) September 21, 2018
It's not closing down.
But it is laying off 225 of 250 people.
That's about as close to a closure as you can get without actually ending the company.
That seems like the source of the confusion.
"It's been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course," CEO Pete Hawley said in the statement. "Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry."
The developer released the first episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season last month. The second episode is scheduled to land next week, the third in November and the fourth and final episode in December.
Last November, Telltale laid off 90 employees, a quarter of its workforce. Now, just 25 remain, with The Verge reporting that there was no severance for the laid-off staff members. Earlier this year, Telltale announced a game based on the hit Netflix series Stranger Things and a sequel to The Wolf Among Us, but those are "effectively canceled," USgamer reports, and said the remaining staff is there to work on the "Minecraft Story Mode project for Netflix." Telltale said it will release more information on its games in the coming weeks.
Update 9/21/18 5:45PM ET: Updated with statement from Telltale.