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Telltale Studios shutting down
#1
Ouch.

https://kotaku.com/sources-telltale-hit-...1829233618

From the sounds of it, they're keeping the doors open long enough to finish The Walking Dead, and then they're done.

Too many similar games, too many expensive licenses. A real shame. Hopefully the people involved move on to interesting projects.
Gamertag: Tweakee
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#2
No, TWD is toast as well. Minecraft Story Mode is the only thing being finished:

https://www.usgamer.net/articles/report-...s-canceled

By all accounts, the studio was a crunch heavy hellpit. Sympathies for the staff, but someone should be taking the senior management and lynching them from a fucking lamppost. They knew what they were doing.
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#3
... What?

I assumed they were thriving.
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#4
Nah, too many games that only differentiated on the IP. They discounted bloody quickly indicating sales were not brisk. And I imagine those licenses ate into the profits.

They lost all the original staff not long after TWD season 1. They laid off a shit load of staff barely a year ago, to concentrate on updating the engine to give it more power and capability, but all the reports about the technical management clearly meant they couldn't manage to do that in the year.
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#5
THE WOLF AMONG US was their crowning achievement as far as I'm concerned. Terrible news.
Originally Posted by ImmortanNick 

Saw Batman v Superman.
Now I know what it's like to see Nickelback in concert.

That's my review.
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#6
(09-21-2018, 07:45 PM)flint Wrote: No, TWD is toast as well. Minecraft Story Mode is the only thing being finished:

https://www.usgamer.net/articles/report-...s-canceled

By all accounts, the studio was a crunch heavy hellpit. Sympathies for the staff, but someone should be taking the senior management and lynching them from a fucking lamppost. They knew what they were doing.

Interesting. If true, that'd mean issuing a ton of refunds.

It'd also be a double-shame if they didn't get to finish their best work, and by far the best thing to come out of The Walking Dead universe.
Gamertag: Tweakee
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#7
I doubt refunds will be on offer. They seem to have said they are not declaring bankruptcy, but I assume there is some kind of ring fenced seperately funded contract with Netflix for the Minecraft thing. My guess is they won't pay out a dime to the season pack purchasers. Sony/Microsoft/Steam might have the clout to sort it, but if the money is not there (they say), it's not there.

I've no idea what the payment order is for creditors, in America. The employee protection laws there are fucking terrifying, but I would guess that staff severance would be placed above outstanding customer orders. It's usually The Bank (who lent you money), The Legal stuff (employees), The Customers. So if they are not paying severance to their employees, I'm assuming the customers are also out of luck.
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#8
I mean, I pretty much knew that I was never going to see a Game Of Thrones: Season 2, but still...damn it.
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#9
I was really looking forward to more Wolf Among us and Game of Thrones. Ah well.
Git' in under mah belly!
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#10
I lost my enthusiasm for Telltale once they went from niche licenses to the giant ones, inevitable though that transition might have been. I'll forever be glad I got some excellent Sam & Max games, Strong Bad and Monkey Island 5 out of their inexorable journey to Big IP.
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#11
(09-21-2018, 08:03 PM)flint Wrote: I doubt refunds will be on offer. They seem to have said they are not declaring bankruptcy, but I assume there is some kind of ring fenced seperately funded contract with Netflix for the Minecraft thing. My guess is they won't pay out a dime to the season pack purchasers. Sony/Microsoft/Steam might have the clout to sort it, but if the money is not there (they say), it's not there.

I've no idea what the payment order is for creditors, in America. The employee protection laws there are fucking terrifying, but I would guess that staff severance would be placed above outstanding customer orders. It's usually The Bank (who lent you money), The Legal stuff (employees), The Customers. So if they are not paying severance to their employees, I'm assuming the customers are also out of luck.

Nah, that's not really an option. They'd be sued for more money than the refunds would cost, and they'd lose. Further, every platform that offered the game could be sued AND could sue them in turn.

They could produce a really cheap half-assed batch of episodes to try to fulfill the season, but pocketing the money and offering 1/5th of the game they promised won't work out well for them.
Gamertag: Tweakee
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#12
(09-21-2018, 09:01 PM)fatherdude Wrote: I lost my enthusiasm for Telltale once they went from niche licenses to the giant ones, inevitable though that transition might have been.  I'll forever be glad I got some excellent Sam & Max games, Strong Bad and Monkey Island 5 out of their inexorable journey to Big IP.

Same here. That Strong Bad game was bloody great.
Originally Posted by ImmortanNick 

Saw Batman v Superman.
Now I know what it's like to see Nickelback in concert.

That's my review.
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#13
ouch:

[Image: ZqRGKJa.png]
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#14
You do have to take into account that their income from consoles went way up post-TWD season one, but that trend is still pretty clear.

They went from one game a year to three, never upgraded their engine, and never really upgraded their narrative style. I remember TWD feeling like a promising start to making choices matter in their games, but if anything their narratives got -more- linear as they went along.

When Dontnod Dropped Life is Strange on us, I knew Telltale was in trouble.
Gamertag: Tweakee
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#15
Oh for sure, they branched out to iOS and Consoles, a choice which probably made engine changes cripplingly difficult, but there's no way that many Steam players jumped onto alternative platforms to even the numbers out. They just stopped showing up. The common complaint was 'more of the same' with their games. An their response seemed to be to just increase output, meaning they overworked what staff they had.

Specific licenses are a weird decision as well. Wolf Among Us was probably a smart move, a lesser known comic, but anyone who wasn't a fan of Game of Thrones wouldn't have checked out that game... anyone who didn't like Minecraft wouldn't have checked out that one. Interest was as much determined by the IP as the creator of the game. If they'd gone more obscure, they could have maybe done a better job building excitement for the next "Telltale" game.

This whole CYOA sub-genre of games is not my thing anyway, so I'm more or less dispassionately interested. And as I said above, the company itself was a first world sweat shop luring in the naive and working them to the bone.
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#16
The Batman game was SO BORING.

And I say this as someone who thought the first TWD was an astonishing and original piece of storytelling.
“I feel a connection with you. A man connection. A mannection.”
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#17
Yeah, I agree with the analysis. I'm exactly their target customer, and yet even I got burned out by the sheer volume and haphazard licensing "strategy". I bought 5 of their last 12 games, and only paid full price for 2. I haven't finished 2 of the 5. And I'm the guy with a post buried somewhere around here where I had the first Walking Dead game as my game of the year.

It's a frustrating trend in game development... Find a genre people like, beat it into the ground, then fold up shop entirely. Like with the Rock Band / Guitar Hero rhythm games, or how Capcom just canned the Dead Rising studio. I have no doubt that all three genres could've remained profitable for a measured, steady release of games. Instead, they each tested the limits of our exhaustion, found them, and went out of business.
Gamertag: Tweakee
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#18
(09-22-2018, 09:24 AM)lightning slim Wrote: The Batman game was SO BORING.

Huh. I LOVED the Batman games. Best implementation of Bruce Wayne pretty much ever. Actual stories, great villains, and a terrific Joker.

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#19
Man, they laid off 250 people, gave them no severance and only one more week of health insurance.

And I groused at the one month severance I got from my last firing.
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#20
Yeah, I read that too. Fuck Telltale.
Originally Posted by ImmortanNick 

Saw Batman v Superman.
Now I know what it's like to see Nickelback in concert.

That's my review.
Reply
#21
They also, according to twitter, were bringing on new hires as recently as last week. At least one of which moved across the country to work there.
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#22
(09-22-2018, 08:21 PM)Fafhrd Wrote: They also, according to twitter, were bringing on new hires as recently as last week. At least one of which moved across the country to work there.

That's just a pure 100% garbage move right there. I've got a client who's dealing with a similar situation right now.
[Image: latest?cb=20130405010724]
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#23
https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/4/17934...lking-dead
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#24
It's the same issue for special effects companies that live hand to mouth. They use one contract to pay off the previous contract. They just pushed too far on their IP with too many concurrent titles. Not to mention, those licensing fee's, holy moly. They were probably on the knife's edge of bankruptcy for a long time. Eventually, some bean counter pulled the plug.
"I'll live to see you eat that contract, but I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I'm going to ram it into your stomach and break your god-damn spine!"- Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Running Man.

PSN and Steam gamer tag: rockbollocks

Blizzard ID: Rockbollocks#11635
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#25
https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/10/09/...s-skybound

kirkman's game company will work with members of the riginal Telltale team to complete Clementine's story.

That's good to hear. It would've been a shame to leave one of gaming's better stories without a conclusion.

Hopefully the team finds long-term employment on interesting projects.
Gamertag: Tweakee
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#26
I will no doubt purchase that conclusion with a heavy heart knowing none of the money will be used to help other Telltale employees with severance.
“I feel a connection with you. A man connection. A mannection.”
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#27
(10-10-2018, 06:35 AM)lightning slim Wrote: I will no doubt purchase that conclusion with a heavy heart knowing none of the money will be used to help other Telltale employees with severance.

Aye, matey.
[Image: latest?cb=20130405010724]
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#28
The last game will be a 30 sec QTE were Clem gets chomped whatever happens---Fades to sad music.

Drop that for 5.99, and they'll be done.
"I'll live to see you eat that contract, but I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I'm going to ram it into your stomach and break your god-damn spine!"- Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Running Man.

PSN and Steam gamer tag: rockbollocks

Blizzard ID: Rockbollocks#11635
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