Update: 22/09 10:AM: It now appears that all games at Telltale have been cancelled, including The Walking Dead: The Final Season which was due to release a second episode next week.
As reported by USGamer, the skeleton crew remaining at Telltale are there to fulfil contractual obligations in bringing Minecraft: Story Mode to Netflix, while all game development teams have been laid off.
Update 23:30PM: Telltale have issued a statement via Twitter:
Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfil the company’s obligations to its board and partners. CEO Pete Hawley issued the following statement:
“It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. 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. With a heavy hear, we watch our friends leave today to spread out brand of storytelling across the games industry.”
Telltale will issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks.
The original story follows:
In rather surprising news, Telltale Games seem to have laid of the vast majority of their staff, with sweeping layoffs reported by developers now suddenly out of work. From around 250 developers, The Verge are saying that the company is now down to just 25 people working on a single project, and while it was suggested that the studio had shut down completely, those are currently premature.
Even so, with such a drastic cut to the personnel, it leaves the future of the studio in doubt. Chances are the remaining staff are working to finish off The Walking Dead: The Final Season, while other projects such as The Wolf Among Us Season 2 and Stranger Things have surely been canned.
A number of rumours have swirled around the studio in recent times, with former staff speaking of a toxic workplace environment, layoffs of a quarter of the staff at the start of this year, and the inherent difficulties of trying to switch game engines and attempts to overhaul the format that their games take.
Whatever happens next, Telltale Games have suffered a dramatic fall from grace, having long been the darlings of the graphic adventure genre since the first The Walking Dead series. Our thoughts go to those now suddenly looking for work, and we hope they find fresh employment soon.