Telltale is done. It appears The Walking Dead: Final Season won't be completed.
The Verge had an article in March called Toxic management cost an award-winning game studio its best developers
It looks a lot like what you'd expect: a niche studio got too big too fast, fell into the usual industry traps of overwork and churn, overrelied on licensed properties, and mistakenly thought that The Walking Dead was an indicator of future successes instead of representing the upper limit of what Telltale's style of game was ever going to sell.
And as for that style...well.
The point-and-click adventure genre has been passe for decades. Telltale did a good job of making it more attractive to casual gamers by de-emphasizing (frequently obtuse) puzzles and emphasizing choices and consequences.
And the first time you play something like The Walking Dead, it really feels like your decisions matter.
But play a couple of Telltale games (or the same one a couple times) and it becomes clear just how shallow the decision tree is. (Shallow...tree? Okay, mixing metaphors here, but you know what I mean.) For games that rely so heavily on the premise that what you do matters
, the realization that what you do really doesn't
matter is...well, it's gonna make repeat business hard.
I thought The Walking Dead: Season One was brilliant. And I'm disappointed that we're never going to see The Wolf Among Us: Season Two.
Telltale had some really talented people, and did a fantastic job with writing, atmosphere, and tension, and they cast great VAs, too. In a nutshell, they were great at doing what it said on the tin: telling tales.
They weren't so good at making games that made me want to buy more games from them. And apparently they really
weren't very good at running a business.