Telltale Games Studio Shutters Doors Due to Low Sales

cageymaru

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The Telltale Games studio has shutdown and all that is left is a 25 man skeleton crew. The game studio was known for its ultra high quality Walking Dead series of adventure games. Some of their games have 97% approval ratings on Steam, but sales never matched the quality of the titles. All future product launches have been canceled.

CEO Pete Hawley issued the following statement: "It's been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. 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."
 

Derangel

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Sounds like none of the people that got laid off are getting any kind of severance pay or benefits.

The fact that only TWD season 1 made money for them makes it really baffling that they expanded the studio to 250 people and took on tons of projects. Seems like a really, really, stupid choice for a business to make.
 

ComputerBox34

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YouTube killed these games. Why buy the games when you can watch them on YT for free? There's so many people playing and recording them that I'm sure you can watch any combination of decisions that you want. Made no sense to me why they allowed that.
 

viper1152012

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Good games but I agree, performance issues.

Really sad to see them go.

I too blame youtubers killing the games with xomplete walk throughs
 

Derangel

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Good games but I agree, performance issues.

Really sad to see them go.

I too blame youtubers killing the games with xomplete walk throughs

Youtubers are an easy target, but they're not at fault. TT did not alter their formula at all following season 1 of Walking Dead. They didn't fix ANYTHING that was broken or wrong with their engine or their storytelling techniques. TT developed a one trick pony and refused to deviate from it. Many games since then have done a MUCH better job with the whole "choice" system in ways that feel more natural and much less like the choices are completely pointless. Fuck, even Mass Effect 3 did a better job.
 

viper1152012

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Wow trolled hard.

Pretty sure I listed it had problems. (Fact)

Comparing it to ME3 wow, beat that horse a bit more.

When your game is on rails and basically a movie go check youtube for views...

Game
 

risc

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Bought one of the Batmans but couldn't force myself to finish it.

Started great as an interactive story, would have been happy with a pure choose your own adventure, but there is interspersed "hit A to dodge, X to grab, up/down B roll" crap which is dumb and ruined the flow.
 

SixFootDuo

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Thank god .... when I first saw these types of games I was thinking, jesus .. what has happened to kids. I really thought that kids were getting dumber and actually paying for this crap. Refreshing to know this wasn't the case at all.
 
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sfsuphysics

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YouTube killed these games. Why buy the games when you can watch them on YT for free? There's so many people playing and recording them that I'm sure you can watch any combination of decisions that you want. Made no sense to me why they allowed that.
Well it's kind of their fault for following this business/game model, games are supposed to be fun to play, if they wanted to make choose your own adventure stories in a digital medium then yeah, "what were you thinking" comes to mind. I knew how many games ended due to choices, but the game was also fun so I played it anyways.
 
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no...the Wolf Among Us part 2....

but no one asked for Batman, Guardians, Minecraft, Borderlands, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park....and the dramatic change in focus for Walking Dead 3 ...

and the half ass attempt at Game of Thrones where the story is pretty much railroaded..that was such a disappointment

all these aborted series, rather than focusing their efforts on a proper multi-ending , new game-engine game pretty much led to declining sales.

and episodic content pretty much sucks. Who buys episodes these days ( which also allows streamers to show everything, as mentioned by all others) , rather than waiting for a full discounted release?
 
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Derangel

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Low sales, bollocks. The company was mismanaged and hard. They hired new people LAST WEEK, some who had to relocate for this job, and suddenly they closed doors. Something smells fishy and its not my underwear.



Low sales aren't really bollocks. Apparently the only game they've had in the last six years that has made a profit was Season 1 of Walking Dead. It sounds like there was a lot of mismanagement and absolutely terrible management decisions. Like building up the studio to 250 people and taking on a ton of projects while losing money on every single one of them. Last November they laid off 90 people. They've also apparently had the employees stuck in a constant state of "crunch time" since 2014 and had pretty high turnover. Withing two years they had three different CEOs and had kicked at least one of the co-founders out of the company and off the board.

DnrISLgU4AAM7tm.jpg
 

Ripskin

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I played season 1 of the walking dead that I picked up on sale. It was fun for a while but it was very repetitive and had some issues so I never finished it. Always happy to see someone making games like that but they never cleaned them up so I never bought another.
 

DPI

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Thank god .... when I first saw these types of games I was thinking, jesus .. what has happened to kids. I really thought that kids were getting dumber and actually paying for this crap. Refreshing to know this wasn't the case at all.
Shitty for people to lose their jobs, but I never understood the appeal either.. the Borderlands ones for example were highly regarded, but jesus christ was it skull hammeringly dull to actually see.

These games were like a never ending cutscene you can't escape-key out of.
 

Derangel

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Shitty for people to lose their jobs but I never understood the appeal either.. the Borderlands ones for example were highly regarded, but jesus christ was it skull hammeringly dull.

It was mostly the writing. Tales from the Borderlands really nailed the world and style of the Gearbox games and crafted a well told, if not always well written, story that added some nice lore to the world. The gameplay, however, was never good. They never improved on what they had and ignored what other people in the industry were doing.
 

termite

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I really like the TT games, but I looked at them more like graphic "choose your own adventure" novels then games.

Shame really, I was looking forward to Wolf Among Us 2.
 

haste.

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"They've also apparently had the employees stuck in a constant state of "crunch time" since 2014"

My f'ing nightmare. At least ATV paid us OT and we had all the free red bull and fresh popped popcorn we could consume... and on true crunch they'd put us up in 5 star hotels down the street (obviously so we could work 16 hour days, but we'd hit it pretty hard on company tab after leaving the office at 10pm, crash, and be back at ~6am... to be young again :( ). This was early 2000's tho before the margins condensed.
 

haste.

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It was mostly the writing. Tales from the Borderlands really nailed the world and style of the Gearbox games and crafted a well told, if not always well written, story that added some nice lore to the world. The gameplay, however, was never good. They never improved on what they had and ignored what other people in the industry were doing.
I feel all the TT games were a little dull. I've made it a half hour thru any before giving up due to boredom. The industry has much better narrative driven options- just ran thru firewatch, a much better solution for that style of gameplay.
 

MaZa

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Low sales aren't really bollocks. Apparently the only game they've had in the last six years that has made a profit was Season 1 of Walking Dead. It sounds like there was a lot of mismanagement and absolutely terrible management decisions. Like building up the studio to 250 people and taking on a ton of projects while losing money on every single one of them. Last November they laid off 90 people. They've also apparently had the employees stuck in a constant state of "crunch time" since 2014 and had pretty high turnover. Withing two years they had three different CEOs and had kicked at least one of the co-founders out of the company and off the board.

View attachment 105567

So it was a combination of both.
 

Conman

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Gonna have to call BS on one profitable game in six years. Studios don't last for six years on a single low priced game and a dozen straight failures.
 

steakman1971

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I think I bought a lot of their titles (I'm a Steam whore), but only played a little bit of the Walking Dead. Just not my kind of game.
It's crappy what they did to their employees. I hope they can find some soft landings and get back at it.
 

4saken

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played one, you played em all. novelty wore off. good run though.
 
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I loved the TT games. Every single one of them, but some more than others. The earlier Walking Deads, Wolf Among Us, and the Batman series were my favorites. Some really good twists were incorporated into their stories.
 
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Asquinol

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This reminds me of what Sigil did to us. However, at least some of us(not me) got severence and a chance to jump back on the SOE teet...

I passed on that tyvm.
 

OpenSource

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I'm guessing all that venture capital they accepted helped keep them afloat. It always goes downhill when indie companies accept corporate cash.
 

Meeho

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YouTube killed these games. Why buy the games when you can watch them on YT for free? There's so many people playing and recording them that I'm sure you can watch any combination of decisions that you want. Made no sense to me why they allowed that.
It's not much of a game then, is it?
 

HeadRusch

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Games was always a stretch.. they were modernized comic versions of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" paperbacks..."If you wish to attack the Cave Troll, turn to page 78", so IMHO they did their thing and died when they were supposed-to.
 

Burticus

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Damn I paid real money for the Borderlands series. Sad.

I guess this means no Poker Night 3... I paid real money for Poker Night 2 and I still play that 4-5 times a week.
 
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I really enjoyed TWD season 1 and 2. Season 1 especially, it had a great emotional story that I thought was as good as the comic and TV series.
 

Soulmetzger

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I really enjoyed the Walking Dead 1 & 2 but my threshold of how much i'm willing to pay for games like this is sub $10. I can't bring myself to pay more than that for games with zero replayability.
 

sfsuphysics

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Lawsuits incoming? Sounds like lots of people got screwed...
Out of curiosity, in what way? By offering a job that someone moved for? Not having a severance package? Yeah those are hardly lawsuit worthy claims. And even if they are, company declares bankruptcy there's not exactly money to go around... especially after the CEO and other board members gets their severance package which just so happen to be all the money they have :D
 

staknhalo

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Can't say I'll miss them, I only liked/enjoyed the Poker Night at the Inventory games.
 
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Working in game development sounds like Hell on Earth with all these horror stories you're always hearing.
 
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