At the end of the last month, the videogames industry was shocked to learn that Telltale Games—once an industry darling after the studio’s success with The Walking Dead—was going through a majority studio closure. The company “made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges,” resulting in the dismissal of a majority of the company’s employees, leaving only 25 staffers to fulfill Telltale’s remaining obligations.
Now, almost two weeks later, those remaining 25 employees—known as the studio’s “skeleton crew”—have been laid off. The news has come not in the form of a public statement from the studio, but rather in a tweet from Rachel Noel, a narrative designer at Telltale who was one of the company’s few remaining employees.
“Heeeeyyyy remember how there was going to be a skeleton crew staying on for a while and I was part of it? Nah, jk, we all just got laid off, too,” Noel writes in her tweet. In a follow-up tweet, she adds: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. 80-hour crunch weeks. Mismanagement of some of the industry’s top talent. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”
Noel also notes that the skeleton crew will not receive severance pay, either.
Earlier today (Oct. 4), The Verge published a report titled “The Tragic End of Telltale Games,” containing information and details from some of the 250 employees who were suddenly laid off with no severance and health insurance that they would have for only nine more days following the news. According to the report, there are many factors that contributed to the studio’s implosion—among them a lack of finances, major mismanagement, a lawsuit from former CEO Kevin Bruner and the loss of potential investors.
Paste has reached out to Telltale Games for more information and will update this post with any further details.
If you have been affected by the layoffs at Telltale Games, the #TelltaleJobs and #GameDevJobs hashtags on Twitter are filled with support and information regarding jobs at other studios in the industry, including a large organized list of job listings.