This afternoon, Telltale Games announced that they have laid off all but 25 employees; those who remain are there to “fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners”. Various sites are reporting that this equates to the loss of about 90% of their jobs. That number would be even higher if you compared it from a year ago, however, where they had “between 350 and 400” employees, according to an interview that Eurogamer had with Job Stauffer at Gamescom 2017.
The signs were there; I just wasn’t paying attention.
The company has not fully outlined what will happen with their various titles yet. Rumors are that The Wolf Among Us: Season Two and their Stranger Things projects have been canceled. Basically, at least if the rumors are correct, the last 25 employees will wrap up The Walking Dead and that will be it. That said, you never know whether some publisher will swoop in and pick up some licenses. It’s a bit harder in Telltale’s case because their content is licensed from existing franchises (apart from Puzzle Agent and a few card games).
I do hope that someone will swoop in and pick up a bunch of employees, however. The industry, as commonly happens when these things occur, has created a venue to connect those who are affected with potential new employers. This time it is a Twitter hashtag, #TelltaleJobs. If you own a game studio, then you probably already know about this, but, just in case you haven’t, it’s a good place to let people know you’re hiring (if you are).
I am surprised. I thought
I am surprised. I thought they were very popular?
I think I picked up three of their games…borderlands and two walking dead ones. I did find I just don’t enjoy them so much after I play a few. They’re very predictable and pretend to give you choice when you really don’t have one. For example in the second walking dead game I had to pick between two people and I already knew they were both dead.
Telltale, Thump Thump, Thump
Telltale, Thump Thump, Thump Tuump, Thump Bap, bing bong, zeng zong! Zeep Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…
This type of video
This type of video entertainment, now commonly referred to as “graphic adventure games”, will become the de facto form of entertainment. Its just a matter of when. Which is most likely sooner than later, as we already possess the technology and infrastructure to make it possible. The only thing lacking now is the vision. And that perhaps itself is already underway, and its just a matter of time until we see widespread adoption.
The current implementation of this type of video entertainment, as evidenced by today’s news, was perhaps a bit misguided. You see, “choose your own adventure” style entertainment is a more passive type of endeavor as compared to, lets say, trying to headshot an opponent in your favorite fps or negotiate the twists and turns in your favorite racing sim. Those latter two activities, as the name implies, are “active”. Moreover, its these “active” types of entertainment that comprise an overwhelming majority of the content in today’s “video games”, which in turn, are the reason why someone would be inclined to play a video game in the first place. So, perhaps today’s news shouldn’t be so surprising. TellTale was trying to sell tofu burgers to people waiting in line for a Big Mac. Yea, you’re probably gonna get a few people that’ll say, “hey, you know what, this aint half bad”. But at the end of the day, they’re waiting in line for a Big Mac.
Now, that’s not to say these Big Mac eating, action seeking, adrenaline junkie video gamers, don’t like passive entertainment, on the contrary. The issue however is, that when they pick up their controller (ie standing in line for a Big Mac), they don’t then want to start reading a book or watch a movie. They want action. They want to get involved. They want more than just a cerebral connection to the entertainment unfolding before them. And that is why, unfortunately, we have today’s news. The ironic part is, that there are exponentially more tofu burger eaters than there are big mac eaters. You’re just not gonna find them standing line for a big mac. The market this there. The technology and the infrastructure are there. The execution/implementation was/is wrong.
But fear not faithful adventure game enthusiasts, for this is not the end, it is just the beginning. Your beloved genre will still exist, perhaps just not in the trappings in which you’re accustomed. You see, one day, someone will come along and usher in a new era of entertainment to the masses. Perhaps someone who has read Aldous Huxley’s a Brave New World and realized that the authors interpretation of the “feelies” were more of a premonition than science fiction. Someone who sees the exponential value in marrying traditional choose your own adventure “style” entertainment with todays technological and social climate. Choose your own adventure “style” The Matrix anyone? Yea…count me in.
live action video w/adventure
live action video w/adventure game mechanics controlled via smartphone
seriously… apple, google, fox, mgm, sony etc etc. wake the fu©k up.
But it’s Gamers! So that’s
But it’s Gamers! So that’s Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New Inbred World where only the Gamer’s and their immediate Sibling’s genes are mixed and raised to completion in artificial womb. Look at all them Gaming Jethros There in them big tubes and everone with Big Jug Ears, MonoBrows, Ape like ARMs, Gills and Webbed hands and Feet!
“This type of video
“This type of video entertainment, now commonly referred to as “graphic adventure games”, will become the de facto form of entertainment. Its just a matter of when.”
I think you’re making the massive assumption that people have the energy and/or desire to participate. There are lots of people who enjoy going home, turning off their brain, and having entertainment spoon fed to them while they stare gormlessly at their TV.
I fell for the employees but
I fell for the employees but it does not surprise me much abnout the company itself. They made their mark with the Left for dead series and modeling those game after the TV show. The problem I had with the games was the EP releases I hated it so I did not play the games. I also found the games themselves very boring in nature but that is just my own tastes for the type of games I do like to play.
SO if they were very popular and people were buying their games left right and center then I have to ask this Who miss managed the money so bad they have to close up shop or best case down size like this.