With no warning, Telltale laid off the majority of its staff in September, offering them no severance. It did, however, keep on a skeleton staff of 25 people that were said to be staying on for the “foreseeable” future. Just two weeks after word of the situation first broke, it appears that even those remaining staffers have now been let go.
Former narrative designer Rachel Noel shared the news on Twitter, writing, “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.” A source confirmed the statement with GameSpot.
Claims of mismanagement of Telltale have been abound for some time, and Noel seemed to reaffirm those allegations in a follow-up tweet, stating, “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.”
Prior to this, Noel had confirmed that she was among those still with the company and that she was “working on the remaining TTG project.” The Walking Dead’s Final Season second episode (of four) launched just as the layoffs took place, and it’s been unclear if the remaining episodes would ever be completed.
Telltale had previously suggested it’s seeking to finish up the series, and on Friday at New York Comic-Con, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman offered some hope to those wanting to see the conclusion. “Stay tuned,” he said. “Everyone involved is trying to make sure Clementine’s story is told. I’m not concerned at the moment with telling that story in the comics.”
The situation involving Telltale has been a confusing, messy one, as outlined in our timeline recapping its downfall. The sudden collapse has prompted a class-action lawsuit from one of its now ex-employees. This latest development comes on the heels of a Kotaku report suggesting Telltale was looking to finish the Walking Dead using an outside studio that would temporarily hire at least some of Telltale’s former employees.