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Old 11-07-2017, 04:06 PM   #1
Emabulator
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Significant Layoffs Hit Batman, Game Of Thrones Dev Telltale Games


GameSpot has the story.

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Significant layoffs have hit Telltale Games, the developer best known for its licensed episodic adventure games, including those based on Batman, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead. As part of a "comprehensive company restructuring," Telltale has laid off 25% of its employees, which amounts to 90 people.

Specifics regarding individuals were not shared, but these layoffs impact "all divisions" and are effective as of today. A press release states the move will make the company "more competitive as a developer and publisher of groundbreaking story-driven gaming experiences with an emphasis on high quality in the years ahead." There was similarly little to say about exactly what drove these changes, although Telltale says the projects it has announced won't be affected.

"Our industry has shifted in tremendous ways over the past few years," CEO Pete Hawley said. "The realities of the environment we face moving forward demand we evolve, as well, reorienting our organization with a focus on delivering fewer, better games with a smaller team."

One criticism of Telltale in recent years has been its continued use of aging technology. The press release says this will be addressed, as Telltale "will use this restructuring as an opportunity to move internal development over to more proven technologies that will fast-track innovation in its core products as it works with new partners to bring its games to new audiences."
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:08 PM   #2
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Bummer. I like Telltale's games.

Best of luck to those who lost their jobs. I hope you find new employment quickly.
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:53 PM   #3
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These guys just made too many of the same types of games. They thought the licenses would carry it... but there was burnout from the consumer.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:08 PM   #4
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Wow, I hadn't heard anything about them being in trouble at all. It seemed like there was a real market for their type of games.

I wasn't that market (they didn't support left handed controls or remapping the first time I tried their games so I said "fuck it"). And I didn't like the episodic nature but there always seemed lots of excitement around their releases.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:21 PM   #5
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These guys just made too many of the same types of games. They thought the licenses would carry it... but there was burnout from the consumer.
This. There is a market there that would eat up all these games. But only when they released one a time. They saturated the market right quick about a year or two ago. Also, NOTHING they put out has been as good as the first season of Walking Dead... except for Minecraft: Story Mode.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:32 PM   #6
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Wow, I hadn't heard anything about them being in trouble at all.
I have a theory.

If a dev ends up on Humble Bundle, it might just be there because it's struggling.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:39 PM   #7
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TT CEO - "Guys, we decided to scrap our buggy engine and go with a middleware solution."
TellTale Engine Team - "Fuuuuu--"
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:16 PM   #8
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Lootboxes full of extra dialogue choices incoming!!!
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:19 AM   #9
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This. There is a market there that would eat up all these games. But only when they released one a time. They saturated the market right quick about a year or two ago. Also, NOTHING they put out has been as good as the first season of Walking Dead... except for Minecraft: Story Mode.
I think it's just a problematic model insomuch as, at this point, they have never "cancelled" a series.

They wanted to, inexplicably, model their business after television. But when a TV show doesn't work, a network will simply cancel it. Don't know how the story ends? "Nobody cares. Make it up in your head."

But if Telltale starts a story that doesn't catch on with audiences, or the audience drops off, they are obligated to their fans to finish it. Doubly so because the cost benefit of the "televised" approach only makes itself apaprent when they can reuse assets multiple times.

Ultimately, it's the lack of any consistent and predictable gameplay mechanic that makes me not want to play any of their games, as much as I liked Wolf Among Us.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:33 AM   #10
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The problem was the lack of things to properly differentiate the games. Or expand upon them to make them more interesting. Most of the games are just way too short and they couldn't live up to the promise of games changing based on choices. Which isn't unusual, since that is really dang hard.
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Also, Telltale signed with xbox, with fear that if they released Jurassic Park on the PS3, the dinosaurs would get loose.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:45 AM   #11
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The problem was the lack of things to properly differentiate the games. Or expand upon them to make them more interesting. Most of the games are just way too short and they couldn't live up to the promise of games changing based on choices. Which isn't unusual, since that is really dang hard.
I don’t know if games changing based on choice was really ever promised. I think the only real promise was that it would be “interactive” in that you got to pick what you wanted to say.i don’t think they ever really promised greatly changing experiences. Which, as you say, is nearly impossible.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:49 AM   #12
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I don’t know if games changing based on choice was really ever promised. I think the only real promise was that it would be “interactive” in that you got to pick what you wanted to say.i don’t think they ever really promised greatly changing experiences. Which, as you say, is nearly impossible.
Well, they promised that the game's story would change based on your choices. Which is... technically true, in that people say slightly different things and in some games one guy over another died or stayed alive, but overall the story didn't change much aside from what disposition people had.
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:42 AM   #13
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I always get sad when I don't see "Tales from the Borderlands" included in the Telltale Games catalogue. It was my favorite game from them (even better than the Walking Dead games).
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:27 AM   #14
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After going through TT Game of Thrones with my GoT-loving partner it became painfully clear that Telltale "Games" are now little more than mildly interactive movies. The choices don't even really matter, just pick whatever and when you're done you're done, no replay value to speak of.

It seems that anyone with the competence and appropriate mindset to continue the Sam and Max series is long gone from Telltale, so there's one more franchise for the gaming IP graveyard.

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Old 11-08-2017, 04:42 AM   #15
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well they just released the final episode of Guardians yesterday it was lacking in humour.

So far the ones i have enjoyed is:
batman season 1
the wolf among us
tales from the borderlands
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:32 AM   #16
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I think it's just a problematic model insomuch as, at this point, they have never "cancelled" a series.
Yes they have, right on their first try ("Bone")! Maybe that's why I'm still grumbling whenever I see a new Telltale title with the license du jour slapped on it, but I honestly never found the "game" part in their offerings all that interesting. I tried some "Bone", "Sam & Max" and "Wallace & Gromit", I cut out in episode 3 of "Back to the Future", and I stopped playing "The Walking Dead" when it became clear that my actions did NOT affect the story, but where cleverly disguised right/wrong guesses instead. For example, when that stupid kid rode the tractor and broke down the fence in episode 1, I wanted to save the innocent (and useful) worker. "Nuh-uh", said the game, "you chose wrong! Not only will you lose that guy to the undead, but now the kid's parents hate you for not helping their brat right away!"

From what I've heard, these things never change through the series. Pity, because up to that point, it was a fairly interesting story, and capably told, too!
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:44 AM   #17
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I was fully on board with these guys when they first started releasing new Sam & Max games...but, I quickly dropped off because they weren't quite capable of capturing the magic and tone of the comic, Hit the Road or even the cartoon.

Plus, the voice actors they used for Sam and Max in HtR were absolutely perfect and everyone that came after them were pale facsimiles; the characters just didn't sound right in the Telltale games.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:42 AM   #18
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I always found these games dull. The thing about the old interactive games was that they were difficult and full of puzzles. You had to go back and fourth between different areas to find objects and complete puzzles. These Telltale games are just an interactive story. They forgot what made the old adventure games great and so it killed their company.

I don't know how you could not look at all the old adventure games, even Myst, and not see that puzzle solving was a huge part of the game. Not just clicking to get to the next screen.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:29 AM   #19
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I can't stand adventure video games...point, click, walk around, find crap.

I prefer action rpg games...point, click, walk around, find crap.

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Old 11-08-2017, 11:23 AM   #20
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Crazy to think that a studio like Telltale Games, who makes fairly straightforward and simple games in the same engine over and over, has a staff of almost 300 people working there! That's... Wow. Perhaps that's why they are struggling.
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