Significant Layoffs At Batman, Game Of Thrones Dev Telltale Games Announced
90 Telltale employees are out of work.
Significant layoffs have hit Telltale Games, the developer best known for its licensed episodic adventure games, including those based on Batman, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead. As part of a "comprehensive company restructuring," Telltale has laid off 25% of its employees, which amounts to 90 people. [Update: As of September 2018, another, even larger round of Telltale layoffs has reportedly taken place and may even lead to the shutdown of the company.]
Specifics regarding individuals were not shared, but these layoffs impact "all divisions" and are effective as of today. A press release states the move will make the company "more competitive as a developer and publisher of groundbreaking story-driven gaming experiences with an emphasis on high quality in the years ahead." There was similarly little to say about exactly what drove these changes, although Telltale says the projects it has announced won't be affected.
"Our industry has shifted in tremendous ways over the past few years," CEO Pete Hawley said. "The realities of the environment we face moving forward demand we evolve, as well, reorienting our organization with a focus on delivering fewer, better games with a smaller team."
One criticism of Telltale in recent years has been its continued use of aging technology. The press release says this will be addressed, as Telltale "will use this restructuring as an opportunity to move internal development over to more proven technologies that will fast-track innovation in its core products as it works with new partners to bring its games to new audiences."
Hawley added, "I'd like to express our respect for all the contributions that these incredibly talented artists, storytellers, and more have made to this company, and that this decision is in no way a reflection on the quality or dedication of their work."
This news comes on the same day that both Guardians of the Galaxy's fifth episode and Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two's fourth episode were released. Among its future projects are a second season of The Wolf Among Us and a final season of The Walking Dead. It's unclear if Hawley's comment about releasing fewer games signals a shift away from episodic games, or if it will focus on fewer series overall. We'll report back as we learn more.
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