Tales from the Borderlands is no longer available for purchase on Steam.
This has been coming for a long time. As Telltale’s games basically all used licensed properties, when those licenses expire and there wasn’t any Telltale left to renew those licenses, the games they were based on were doomed to fade into obscurity.
Telltale Games, the studio famous for making popular their own brand of narrative games, closed down last September after a prolonged period of financial distress. With corporate heads attempting to recapture the critical and financial success of The Walking Dead’s first season, Telltale went on a spending spree negotiating deals with other major media companies to make versions of Walking Dead for anyone who would care to pay for it.
Sadly, this obsession over that first success would eventually lead to Telltale’s demise. IPs from Marvel, DC, and HBO are expensive to license, and without the same kind of success as the first Walking Dead series, they’d never turn Telltale a profit.
As each new game never lived up to executive’s sales expectations, this meant the only way to make up for the shortfall was to keep churning out more and more games. This meant more licensed IPs, which led to more mediocre games which led to more licenses in a vicious circle without end.
Meanwhile, Telltale staff were forced to endure a constant state of crunch, which management encouraged. “Telltale fatigue” became an industry buzzword for working 100-hour weeks without any relief.
Eventually, Telltale’s house of cars all came tumbling down. When execs failed to secure licenses for the next batch of games, the company board decided to close the studio down rather than continue to make games.
While this immediately put the last season of The Walking Dead and a new Stranger Things game in jeopardy, it also put a time limit on all of Telltales’ titles. Licenses eventually expire, and when that happens, the game can no longer legally be sold. And Gearbox’s license for the Borderlands IP just came up.
While Tales from the Borderlands is no longer available on Steam, players that have already purchased the game can still play it for now. It’s also still available for purchase on the Humble Store, Microsoft Store, and GOG, but will be taken off of GOG on May 27th.
This is your last chance to play a game with essential Borderlands lore and is quite possibly the best Telltale game ever made.