Telltale Has Laid Off More Of Its Remaining Staff

Telltale might now be completely finished.

48 Comments
Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Telltale Games Has Laid Off More Of Its Remaining Staff - GS News Update

With no warning, Telltale laid off the majority of its staff in September, offering them no severance. It did, however, keep on a skeleton staff of 25 people that were said to be staying on for the "foreseeable" future. Just two weeks after word of the situation first broke, it appears that even those remaining staffers have now been let go.

Former narrative designer Rachel Noel shared the news on Twitter, writing, "Heeeeyyyy remember how there was going to be a skeleton crew staying on for a while and I was part of it? Nah, jk, we all just got laid off, too." A source confirmed the statement with GameSpot.

Claims of mismanagement of Telltale have been abound for some time, and Noel seemed to reaffirm those allegations in a follow-up tweet, stating, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. 80-hour crunch weeks. Mismanagement of some of the industry’s top talent. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."

In a subsequent update, Noel clarified that it was her team, not everyone left at Telltale, who was let go. "There are still good people at the company. MY team is done," she said.

Prior to this, Noel had confirmed that she was among those still with the company and that she was "working on the remaining TTG project." The Walking Dead's Final Season second episode (of four) launched just as the layoffs took place, and it's been unclear if the remaining episodes would ever be completed.

Telltale had previously suggested it's seeking to finish up the series, and on Friday at New York Comic-Con, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman offered some hope to those wanting to see the conclusion. "Stay tuned," he said. "Everyone involved is trying to make sure Clementine's story is told. I'm not concerned at the moment with telling that story in the comics."

The situation involving Telltale has been a confusing, messy one, as outlined in our timeline recapping its downfall. The sudden collapse has prompted a class-action lawsuit from one of its now ex-employees. This latest development comes on the heels of a Kotaku report suggesting Telltale was looking to finish the Walking Dead using an outside studio that would temporarily hire at least some of Telltale's former employees.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 48 comments about this story
48 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for bojan_sokol
bojan_sokol

Wow. Didnt expect Telltale would go like this. The walking dead S1 and some other games ( I liked TWAU, GoT, Borderlands first episode... ) were amazing.

Avatar image for That-Guy-Jeff
That-Guy-Jeff

After the first wave of lay offs I tried to play through the first segment of the Batman series and quickly remembered why I don’t like tell tale games. Their audio in the games were off and animations seemed rigid and ultimately what you did didn’t really matter. It was a nice format from the start, unfortunately the games didn’t really change. May a better kind of choose your own story game company take its place.

Avatar image for DeadManRollin
DeadManRollin

This is just another Zynga story. Hoping too much from simple point and click games that has zero replay value and shabby production values.

They had it coming for a long while. I have 2/3 games sitting on my PS4 that I got free as part of PS plus, but even after downloading them, I didn't even bother to load them for once.

Avatar image for deactivated-5c60a3d1c2911

That's too bad. I loved some of those Telltale games. They had a pretty unique approach and style. Wish they could have finished up their last Walking Dead game. Doesn't seem likely to happen now.

Avatar image for 129260
129260

I love how they stole this from reddit, but didn't read the comment section to note that it was only her team and not everyone.

Way to repost stuff and not check any sources gamespot.

https://twitter.com/anameformyself/status/1047975335235481600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Avatar image for Arkhalipso
Arkhalipso

@129260: "In a subsequent update, Noel clarified that it was her team, not everyone left at Telltale, who was let go. 'There are still good people at the company. MY team is done,' she said."

Oh, the irony!

Avatar image for J_P-
J_P-

I never liked Telltale games especially since they release their games into separate parts, they obviously don't care for their player base.

Avatar image for SoNin360
SoNin360

@J_P-: "This doesn't concern me so who cares"

Lol GTFO dude, this affects a lot of people including everyone who worked there and all those who enjoyed their games, including those looking forward to the conclusion of The Walking Dead.

Avatar image for J_P-
J_P-

Well they are lazy and rip off their player base with these separate parts instead of the whole complete game, what other company does that? It doesn't matter if they eventually sell them together you still have to play them all separately in a detached way which ruins the flow of the games. If they did intend on making the full game together we wouldn't be in this mess right now.

Avatar image for lorddaggeroff
lorddaggeroff

Laid off, or not run along now and add it to your resume. 5 years a telltale games, but I was laid off, non the less you still worked.

Avatar image for ohrenclez
ohrenclez

@lorddaggeroff: Well...still sucks to get laid off with neither severance nor notice just so you keep making money until the last second for a company who clearly doesn't give a damn about its employees. (under circumstances which were inhumane...70 plus hours should never become standard working hours) Or maybe for a person who moves across a country for a job on Monday only to get laid off on Friday...don't really think that adding that part to your résumé will be worth it

Just saying...well it's an honor and a priviledge to be working in the games industry so it is alright for companies to treat their employees like shit will get us further to a point where workers are nothing but a rescource until they have given all they got, then get thrown out without consequences and in the end should be thankful for it

Avatar image for lorddaggeroff
lorddaggeroff

@ohrenclez: no severance is fine, developers should think carefully when placing their genitalia into things that expect a high income, because game developers don't pay the bills or support families, but those above them sure do and their reflecting the cuts just as any company would.

If a GameSpot staff employee became redundant they can just go on twitch and build a small following of like minded individuals while getting therapy. Same applies to game developers, they should be greatful they even got their foot in the door because the selection criteria probably short listed those who applied to that company years ago. (IM sure they will do fine, and if they're not then maybe making games for someone else and treating it as a passion without the expectations of redundancy is unfortunately delusional.)

Avatar image for mal123456
mal123456

Probably swapped a skeleton crew for a zombie one!

Avatar image for zyxahn
zyxahn

I wonder if anyone will come out with a Tell Tale game about, Tell Tale games.

Avatar image for mcnichoj
mcnichoj

@zyxahn: You get an option to manage the company better but your choice ultimately doesn't matter.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@mcnichoj: You need to hire a new CEO to steer your struggling company back on track!

A - Hire some low level exec from Facebook with no business experience

B - Hire a veteran business guy with no game experience, but who is experienced acquiring funding

X - Promote someone internally to a position they are unqualified for and hope for the best.

Y - Hire a failed Zynga exec

>>>Y

Your employees will remember that....

Avatar image for justthetip
JustTheTip

@mcnichoj: This was actually pretty funny. Lol

Avatar image for doremonhg9x
doremonhg9x

@Utnayan: I highly doubt that Battlefield 5 would be a hardsell.

Avatar image for mcnichoj
mcnichoj

@Utnayan: Andromeda flopped because it was a bad game. Not because of politics.

Avatar image for iloveyourface
iloveyourface

ironic how they picked up old IPs like sam and max / monkey island from their deaths of lucasarts only to be destroyed once moreeeee........ obviously if you want to steer clear from the waves you stay out of the industry hahaha. capitalism at its finest. good luck to all and to all a steady income!

Avatar image for skittymiao
Skittymiao

Gamespot, you are joking, right? Check this-https://twitter.com/anameformyself/status/1047975335235481600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Avatar image for 129260
129260

@skittymiao: They just stole it from reddit, didnt even read.

Avatar image for salty101
salty101

@skittymiao: Biggest lol @ gamespot in a while. thx

Avatar image for byof_america
byof_america

@skittymiao: a gaff that big and it's not even a Makuch article.

Avatar image for mrbojangles25
mrbojangles25

Crazy.

Not sure how you have the rights to those IPs--The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Batman, in addition to some of your own and others--and not make money off of them. Especially when you are reinvesting very little back into your company.

Avatar image for OrgeLambart
OrgeLambart

well I had held out hope that we'd get the last 2 episodes in some miracle but with them laying off the remaining crew they had, I guess that pretty much means the studio is finished..

wonder if any of the major players will form up their own studio and continue to make good story driven games.. one can only hope something positive comes from all this negative..

Avatar image for GalvatronType_R
GalvatronType_R

Sad but never surprised at the greed of corporate America. I can GUARANTEE that while the TTG worker bee employees got kicked out with nothing, the fat cats up top in the C-suite all got golden parachutes.

Also, anyone who wants to work in the gaming industry needs to reevaluate their lives. Game developers are overworked, underpaid, underappreciated, the benefits stink, and getting let go with nothing is very common once a big project goes out the door.

Avatar image for fecalmatters
FecalMatters

Did they not have mobile ports? I would think that interactive "non-game" stories would have a broad audience on phones\tablets.

Avatar image for ccgod
ccgod

@fecalmatters: yea but they cost the same price. and it's hard to do the interactiveness on the phone.

Avatar image for fecalmatters
FecalMatters

@ccgod: Gah. Seems like such a bad way to go out. Being a company that just does the story part of games, I would focus on tablet controls because the rest is easier. If I were this companys CEO I would fight for a few more, tailoring for tablet\phone and marketing them that way.

Avatar image for timthegem
timthegem

Did the studio file for bankruptcy or did they say they never go up to chapter 7?

Avatar image for ccgod
ccgod

@timthegem: I think they had to fire the rest to do full on bankruptcy so they didn't have to pay severance to anyone

Avatar image for matr0ska
Matr0ska

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. 80-hour crunch weeks. Mismanagement of some of the industry’s top talent. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."

Stories like this are all too common nowadays. I don't think there are many game/entertainment companies that don't subject their employees to grueling hours, poor management, and unpaid overtime. All while the company excuses this by saying "their employees are doing what they love therefore abuse is OK." This trend in business needs to end.

Avatar image for btotheotothejtothef
BtotheOtotheJtotheF

@matr0ska: great comment

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

The court case probably killed it for good.

Avatar image for Chizaqui
Chizaqui

Just pitiful.

Avatar image for jyml8582
jyml8582

sad.

Avatar image for orangeslime
Orangeslime

@jyml8582: **** em. Shit company, put out shit games, treated fans and staff like shit. Big surprise they went under.... not

Avatar image for Mogan
Mogan

@orangeslime: It's sad for the people who lost their jobs. They're the ones getting "****ed".

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

It was clear the remaining people were just to support the launch of their last Walking Dead episode, not to stay on and make the rest. There's no money left.....

Avatar image for ccgod
ccgod

@Thanatos2k: they were originally suppose to stay behind and finish their netflix contract out

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@ccgod: That contract is toast.