The gaming world got a jolt today after multiple industry outlets reported that Telltale Games, makers of the ongoing and well-received game series based on The Walking Dead, has laid off nearly its entire staff and scrubbed announced projects like a forthcoming game based on Netflix’s Stranger Things.
News of mass layoffs that reduce Telltale’s development staff to a reported 25 people came as a shock to fans of The Walking Dead series, an episodic, multi-platform title that has garnered almost universal acclaim since the first installment landed in 2012. Telltale has released four main “seasons” of The Walking Dead, with the most recent — The Walking Dead: The Final Season — coming just a month back on Aug. 14.
It’s been just under a year since Telltale cut 90 people — a reported 25 percent of its staff — in an effort to streamline expenses. Venturebeat’s Jeffrey Grub tweeted Friday that the studio hasn’t announced a shutdown, but that the latest layoffs are indeed drastic — numbering somewhere between 225 and 250 people.
In addition to The Walking Dead, Telltale has worked with other big-name franchises to develop episodic games; titles themed around Game of Thrones, Jurassic Park, Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Minecraft.
Citing an anonymous source “familiar with the company,” US Gamer reported Friday that the remaining “skeleton crew” at Telltale will continue work on the final episodes of the current Walking Dead cycle, but that planned games based on The Wolf Among Us and Stranger Things, which was first announced in June, “are effectively canceled.”
With news of the layoffs breaking, the company put out a statement via social media confirming the news, calling it a "majority studio closure."