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AMC and Smilegate backed out of Telltale financing talks day before closure

AMC and Smilegate backed out of Telltale financing talks day before closure

American TV network AMC and South Korean developer Smilegate backed out of funding talks with Telltale a day before the studio announced its intent to close its doors, according to a report.

As reported by Variety, Telltale’s management had been working on the deals in a bid to save the company from closure.

Talks with AMC were said to have been going well in Telltale’s eyes, with confirmation of funding expected in weeks. One employee had even gone as far as to say it was painted as a done deal.

However, one of the two companies backed out of talks on Thursday afternoon, the day before the layoffs were announced, with the other backing out the very same night.

Potential backers

The report did not give any precise reasons why AMC or Smilegate were interested initially only to subsequently backed out.

However, it's speculated that, as AMC is behind the Walking Dead TV show, interest could have hailed from that direction. Telltale had already been dealing with The Walking Dead IP and comic owner Skybound Media.

For Smilegate's part, the South Korean developer had opened a studio in Berlin in 2017 in a bid to team up with Western developers on mobile and PC titles.

That said, the developer closed that studio earlier this year as the company changed its strategy, seemingly pulling back from some of its bigger plans in the West.

Backed out

Variety's report comes shortly after a previous article from the site detailed another deal with a different backer falling through.

“The company was working diligently to close a round of financing,” said Telltale co-founder Dan Connors.

“Unfortunately, when the last potential financial backer abruptly pulled out, we were left in a position where we had no choice but to stop production.

“Sadly, everyone was so focused on doing what was required to keep the company going that when the last potential partner backed out, there were no other options.”

While not named, sources said that film production company Lionsgate may have been behind the closure.

Deal me in

Telltale's dealings, however, doesn't seem to have let up yet. The California-based studio took to Twitter just yesterday to reveal some hope in seeing episodes three and four of the Walking Dead come to fruition. 

That comes on the part of potential partners who had expressed an interest. No mention was made however of who would work on the game and whether the laid off staff would be paid their severance in any such deal.


Staff Writer

Iain is a freelance writer based in Scotland with a penchant for indies and all things Nintendo. Alongside PocketGamer.Biz, he has also appeared in Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, PCGamesN and VG24/7.

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