Telltale Games Studio Shutters Doors Due to Low Sales

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    This is a good lesson to learn. I've worked as a contractor in the IT world for over 12 years (for many different companies) and you are an asset that's as disposable as a AA batteryor a paperclip.
     
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  2. DF-1

    DF-1 2[H]4U

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    I did not like their game format so i never played one.
     
  3. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    A company treating its employees as disposable is also a type of mismanagement. It's much better to have people who would go above and beyond for you, than a revolving door, where everyone gtfo first chance they get.
     
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  4. ComputerBox34

    ComputerBox34 Right in the Box

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    Yup. Turnover costs money, a lot of money. Key is to get in that happy place where you have employees giving you 150%+ output because they WANT to.
     
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  5. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    Its not that hard. Just take on more and more debt. Get venture capitals involved, make grand promises. Then also live off of doing licenced work and nothing but licenced work. There is very little money to be made in being a for-contract studio with no IPs of your own. They were hired to do Walking Dead, Game of Throne, etc, etc, etc. There really aren't a lot of profits to be made doing that unless the games sell very well.

    California law requires severance packages to be paid. TT hasn't filed for bankruptcy yet which means they could still be on the hook for not paying the laid off employees. I really hope the former employees have some kind of legal option, especially those that relocated just recently.

    Contract work seems to be a huge problem in the game industry. Since studios ramp up during production and scale down afterwards, they hire a lot of people as contractors so they can be disposed of quickly, without any hassle. From what I've seen people say the only real permanent positions for game development are at the management level and even then sometimes those folks get let go at the end of a project. It is one of the many things that leads to the huge burnout rate among game developers.
     
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  6. jcarney

    jcarney [H]Lite

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    Same. My favorite TT game.
     
  7. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    While I do have sympathy for anyone who find themselves in this situation, isn't this pretty much par for the course for the game industry? ONe of those things that happens to pretty much everyone who works as a game developer/artist every couple of years or so, being unceremoniously laid off without any benefits?

    It seems to me, this is part of the gamble you make when you get into this foolish industry. I like my games, I like tech, and I like computing, but there is no amount of money you could pay me to convince me to work for a game developer, no matter how much fun it sounds like, because the industry is just too unstable and treats employees like trash.

    Well, there is an amount of money you could pay me. Double or more than I am making now, so I can put half of it into savings for when the shit hits the fan.

    I guess my take is, if you work in games, doing pretty much anything in games, you should be aware that this will happen eventually, and have it built into your plan, so that you have enough savings to go a year or more without a paycheck. Otherwise maybe you shouldn't be working in games.
     
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  8. staknhalo

    staknhalo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Maybe they could just get retraining into some other field of work? These Telltale jobs aren't coming back.
     
  9. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Telltales jobs might not be, but there are many game developers out there. In this industry companies fold and start up all the time.

    Even if they can't find game industry jobs, the skills used in developing games are not unique to just this industry. Programmers are needed in many fields. As are digital artists, composers, story writers, project managers, etc. etc. With the skills they have, they shouldn't need much cross-training.
     
  10. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Some of the people I used to know that worked as game developers also started working in the film and TV industry. Again, the high churn rate and other issues caused virtually all of them to go into totally unrelated or peripherally related jobs eventually. None of them work in TV, film or game development anymore that I'm aware of.
     
  11. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    A lot of young people go into it without realizing the way it works. They're full of these grand ideas of being working on video games and having a good time doing it. All these video game majors fill their brains with images of how good it would to work in the industry and all that jazz. So these kids, so full of passion, jump into the industry and face harsh reality very quickly.

    Honestly, it might be time for game developers to have the union conversation. Unions can cause a lot of problems, but publishers and studio heads aren't going to change unless they're forced to. It is going to be a constant cycle of massive burnout and pushing the best talent away unless things change for workers.
     
  12. filip

    filip [H]ard|Gawd

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    My response: Get a Job Hippy!
     
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  13. DoubleTap

    DoubleTap 2[H]4U

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    Telltale is like the nice guy that everyone thinks is perfect marriage material but nobody wants to sleep with him.
     
  14. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    That's simply not the culture of the American workplace anymore. There are no pensions, few benefits and more and more contract (disposable) labor. All the while companies claim poverty while making record profits and slashing the work force.
     
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  15. Azphira

    Azphira [H]ard|Gawd

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    Is it sad that the first thing I checked when seeing this article is if there were Telltale games on Gog Connect?
     
  16. Prisoner849

    Prisoner849 Gawd

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    Yeah, I am likely way off-track. Just seems like shady management... :)
     
  17. Ripskin

    Ripskin 2[H]4U

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    Sadly most only look at the up front accounting numbers so sure long term a permanent employee may cost more but you get more for your investment usually. I hate business accounting and the way they bs the "bottom line". Sadly I'm an IT asset as well. Lucky to be "permanent" but that means jack diddly these days.
     
  18. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    I agree with you.. its just that reality doesn't agree with us.
     
  19. Sorce

    Sorce [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's almost like unions are a necessary thing still.
     
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  20. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    I am noticing a lot of employees don't really know how little rights they have in right to work states. Its really as close to none as you can get, but many companies create policies that give employees a false sense of 'rights' .. maybe they pay a bit for maternity.. maybe the accomodate employees schedule a bit, and don't allow managers to change it too aggressively things like that.. but i am noticing many people confuse this with some sort of rights or laws or something more than just the company being a touch nicer... And something that can go away in a New York minute. Yeap most don't get the very real need for unions and only buy the bs of every is lazy in a union.
     
  21. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    No, reality agrees with us, just that some executives don't agree with reality and keep putting their heads under the feedbag, no matter how hard we try to pull it up.

    Upper management don't really care about loyal employees until it's too late. Sure everything can be done with 12 monkeys and an animal trainer, but it is more economical to do it with brains rather than putting more hired hands on it.

    I'd rather have 2 people who think about how can they make the work more efficient than 12 who just follows the instructions to the letter and keep adding up 2+2+2+2+2.... not realizing it can be done by 128x2 in a hundredth of the time.

    That's what I'm dealing with at my company as well. A job comes in, they give it to the animal trainer and the monkeys, the monkeys waste 2 months and complete maybe 5 percent of the work, when finally still not deliberately a person with actual brains gets involved and streamlines and automates 90% of the process reducing the manual labor by 70-80%. And the animal trainer still moans that he doesn't trust automation. No matter that the work would've been completed 2 years after deadline with his method. That's why you need loyal employees who don't just come in to get the paycheck but considers how the work can be done better and faster.
     
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  22. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The real problem is that we act like that is the way it is supposed to be. And I'm instantly called a communist or socialist if I say "hey something is wrong here" And no, no no, not by the corporations, by the disposable employees themselves.
    The entire economic system is like a giant apple, not the fruit, the company. People see that it's rotten, they see that it exploits them, but when someone criticizes it, they go berserk.
     
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  23. zehoo

    zehoo Limp Gawd

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    Too many side projects that probably had expensive licensing agreements attached to them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  24. byusinger84

    byusinger84 Gawd

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    Really sad to hear this. My wife and loved their games.
     
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  25. MavericK

    MavericK Zero Cool

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    I think it says a lot about the industry when some of the best games we're getting are from small indie devs of even like less than 5 people.
     
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  26. Kinsaras

    Kinsaras 2[H]4U

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    Sad news. I was really looking forward towards Wolf Among Us 2 and Stranger Things.

    Wolf 1 was an excellent game and world. I even got all 150 issues the comic is was based on called Fables.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
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