Telltale Games have confirmed that they will indeed release episode two of The Walking Dead: The Final Season today as planned, despite last week’s sudden and massive layoffs, and there is a chance they’ll be able to finish the full four-episode season “in some form.” Several potential partners have shown interest in supporting the series, Telltale say, though this is far from settled and it could all still collapse for business reasons. Not to mention that some former staff have said Telltale’s Walking Dead team were amongst those laid off, so they’d need to, er, rehire folks. But it’s a glimmer of hope for the game, at least.
“Multiple potential partners have stepped forward to express interest in helping to see The Final Season through to completion,” Telltale said in a statement on Twitter last night. “While we can’t make any promises today, we are actively working towards a solution that would allow episodes 3 and 4 to be completed and released in some form.”
So maaaybe. In some form. At some point. With some people? Given that many Telltale folks have suddenly found themselves in need of a new job (and reportedly without severance pay) while living round a wildly expensive corner of the USA, I can’t imagine even the willing are able to hang around waiting for the possibility that maybe money will come through and they’ll be needed – no matter how much they love the game (and lil’ Clementine).
Though some folks have read this statement as Telltale considering letting another studio finish it, which ha ha they wouldn’t, would they? I’ve read this as potential partners providing cash, not a dev team, but maybe not? While the alternative would kinda do players right-ish, it would be a real slap in the face of a send-off for former employees.
As vague as this update is, the statement offers more hope than we had before. Before it wasn’t even clear if The Final Season’s second episode would be released today, though former staff had said it was finished. Should these potential partnerships for the other two fall through, you’d certainly hope Telltale would open up refunds to folks who paid for all four episodes.
“We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales,” Telltale said over the weekend when confirming the huge layoffs. They’ve cut down to only 25 staff who remain to “fulfil the company’s obligations to its board and partners,” which meant 250 or so people were given the boot. After that… well, Telltale haven’t said exactly what the plan is for them and their games. Probably not great?
If you’ve bought any Telltale games through their own store, you might now want to download and backup those installers, just in case they end up taking the site down.
On a cheerier not, over the past few days some Telltale folks have taken to cyberspace to share great goofs, gaffes, and memories from their time working there.