Telltale Games is now in the final stages of its closure as the studio liquidates its assets and pulls certain games off digital sales platforms.
Earlier in September, Telltale Games abruptly laid off most of its workforce and announced that the studio would begin shutting down. Despite a library of award-winning games, the studio evidently was in a far worse financial position than anyone had ever realized. When company execs failed to secure outside sources of funding, the board decided it was time to close up shop rather.
Telltale was left with a skeletal staff of 25 employees to satisfy its remaining contracts, but everyone else was let go with barely any severance and health benefits that terminated at the end of the month. This termination has resulted in a class-action lawsuit alleging that Telltale violated federal and state labor laws.
For the rest of us, the studio’s closure means that we’ll never get any more Telltale story games, and some of the older games are being pulled from digital marketplaces likes Steam. Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, and the Monkey Island series have all been pulled from Valve’s digital storefront, as well as the wildly successful The Walking Dead series.
Other games, such as Game of Thrones, Batman, and The Wolf Among Us are still available on Steam. Anyone who has previously purchased any of the removed titles still has access to their game, and it seems that some of the removed titles are still available on sites like Humble Bundle.
This removal likely has to do with the termination of licensing agreements rather than the studio’s liquidation. Creditors would rather the company keep making money from sales in order to pay back their debts, and the only reason Telltale would stop selling games is due to a lapsed license.
GameDaily reports that Telltale is currently in the process of liquidating its assets. It’s important to note that this is not a true bankruptcy, but an “assignment for the benefit of creditors”. Basically, this means that Telltale was able to work out a deal with their creditors to pay them back without involving the courts too much. Lawyers still draw up the paperwork, but a judge doesn’t need to sign off on it.
The only good news is that Skybound Entertainment, the studio from The Walking Dead comic creator Robert Kirkman, has agreed to finish the Telltale series so that it doesn’t end on a giant cliffhanger. We don’t expect to see anything more from them until next year.