What is Telltale Games?
Telltale Games is a video game company founded by former LucasArts employees. The company specialize in point and click video games. They first worked on Sam & Max: Freelance Police in 1993. Telltale Games is located in San Rafael, California with over 25 staff members. They have use their own engine called Telltale Tool. Telltale Tool provides texture mapping, physics-based models and dynamic lighting. The staff of Telltale games licenses properties NBC Universal to develop Back to the Future, Law & Order and Jurassic Park. Back to the Future: The Game was “most successful franchise to date” according to Steve Allison. Later on acquired The Walking Dead comic book franchise and was introduce to dialog tree. Quick time events was implemented giving more move-like experience. Later on expanded to episodic game for more seasons.
Walking Dead tv show is the most popular series on AMC. The game was a huge success just like Back to the Future. Telltale work with other comic book brands such as Vertigo’s Fables and DC Batman. Fables was renamed The Wolf Among Us and have same mechanics as Walking Dead. There is another popular show called Game of Thrones on HBO. Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Back to comic book Marvel and Telltale collaboration to bring Guardians of the Galaxy. Due to the Guardians of the Galaxy movie being a culture success. Telltale want to make a game based on the comic series. Later Mojang Minecraft was acquired and don’t have a story mode. The company wanted to have a story, it was named Minecraft: Story Mode.
What is the impact of the company?
Batman is very popular comic book franchise and Telltale wants to get Cape Crusader shine. Batman: Telltale Series is original story and not adapting any comic book storyline. GearBox Software Borderlands is a over the top action rpg shooter. Telltale and GearBox wants to their own story. Tales from the Borderlands with brand new characters and story. The company relocated to a larger space and hired 400 employees in 2017. There were some leadership changes and expansion opportunities in the near future. Companies like Lionsgate wants to make a investment with Telltale games. Both companies wanted to produce “Super Shows” that incorporate television and video game elements. Later the concept was out of production.
During staff members was on “crunch time” meaning limited amount of time to work. In that time staff member quit their jobs because of creative difference. Some employees voice their concerns about preventing them to alternate formats. Co-Founder Kevin Bruner was voted out by Board of Directors. Reasons that Bruner stepped down because employees didn’t like how he makes decisions. Peter Hawley step in and wanted to fix company problems. Bruner file a lawsuit against Telltale because of his departure. Have not gain information about the company’s financial status in selling shares. After that lawsuit Telltale cut 90 positions due to Kevin Bruner lawsuit and decline in money. Later on CEO Peter Hawley announced a partnership with Netflix streaming service.
Shutting down and closing doors
Telltale was working on Stranger Things and Bruner rejected the idea. In September 2018, Telltale games is shutting it’s doors with 90% were let go. Dan Conner stated that “the studio is ready to close and investors pulled out”. Peter Hawley wrote a statement regarding the situation (image below). There is not The Wolf Among Us: Season Two, Game of Thrones: Season Two and Stranger Things. There is great news for The Walking Dead: The Final Season many potential partners will help with last two episodes. Lord knows what will have to these employees and their health benefits. In closing, Telltale games is a great story telling video game company.
What are my thoughts?
I have that nostalgia of the 90s LucasArts days. There were some developers from LucasArts such as Dave Crossman, Jared Emerson-Johnson and many more. DoubleFine employees made it to Telltale Games. Telltale video games was enjoyable and heartful with emotional drive. There was humor and quirky characters. The company will always engrave in our hearts. What about employees of Telltale? I hope they find a new place to belong. My best wishes to everyone who worked at Telltale Games. You guys brought some memories in my gaming life. I was planning on getting Guardians of the Galaxy but hopefully on Black Friday. This is good bye Telltale Games and good luck in the future.