Story-led game developer Telltale is reportedly the subject of more layoffs in the games industry as of this morning.
Earlier this morning team member Jonah Huang revealed that layoffs had begun in “Early September” with “most” of the team being made redundant. Follow-ups to confirm the scale of layoffs succeeded in establishing that redundancies had been made, but not the scale of the job cuts involved. According to Huang the existing team was apparently relatively small, meaning even a scale of around seven layoffs could be seen as quite significant, especially for a developer specialising in the niche genre of point-and-click narrative adventure games.
In a statement given to news outlet Venturebeat, Telltale confirmed the layoffs and insisted production on new titles including The Wolf Among Us 3 - based on the the Fables comic-book series by Bill Willingham - was continuing. “Due to current market conditions, we regrettably had to let some of our Telltale team go recently. We did not take this action lightly, and our commitment to storytelling and finding new ways to do so remains the same. We are grateful to everyone for their dedication along this journey, and we are working to support everyone impacted. All projects currently in development are still in production, and we have no further updates at this time,” the company stated.
Sam & Max Hit the Dole
If the layoffs turn out to be as extensive as Huang claims, or even with a confirmed seven members being laid off it only looks like further bad news for Telltale Games. The company collapsed in 2018, with employees not receiving severance and reports of exhaustive work hours and crunch. After being resurrected in its new form the company has faced increased scrutiny for bringing on veteran developers only as contractors and some viewing it as having lost the uniqueness of the original. Despite major funding rounds and the acquisition of Flavourworks, these redundancies indicate all is not well at the resurgent company.
The story is also indicative of wider layoffs that have plagued the game industry over the past few months. After a peak during the Covid pandemic, the gaming industry has seen a sharp course-correction in terms of revenue and growth that seems to have severely spooked investors and upper-management alike. Sadly, it means that many developers are being laid off from companies across multiple platforms despite high-performing titles.