So you may recall last month when Telltale Games performed a number of layoffs that left over 200 employees out of work, but then doubled down and said that it hopes to conclude The Walking Dead: The Final Season with the help of a partner. That left some of its fans miffed that it cared more about finishing the game than helping its former staff -- but there’s actually a little more to the story from that.
This report from Kotaku indicates that Telltale isn’t looking to just hand off the rights to a third-party partner to finish up the series their way. Rather, it actually wants the partner to conclude it with the help of former employees that previously worked on it, hiring them on as contract workers so they can lend their expertise, so it’ll conclude in high fashion, instead of having a different tone.
While a partner still hasn’t been selected yet, Telltale is talking with various teams about how to move forward. And apparently, there’s only a small amount of work that would need to be done with part of the game, as the third episode appears to be finished, with some slight editing to be done.
A good amount of work has also gone into the fourth episode, including voice acting, but it could still use some development work, although how much hasn’t been disclosed just yet.
This is apparently based on info coming from two anonymous folks involved with the deal, who noted that Telltale would recommend former employees to work on the game. As a result, the partner’s name would be on the paychecks, instead of Telltale, which would not make it as monstrous as some fans insinuated when the employees were laid off with no severance pay.
The former developer talked about the game’s fourth episode, which would need the most work. While speaking with Kotaku, they explained, “The script was strong and the whole team was excited about how we were finishing out Clem’s story.” The episode was initially supposed to release in December after episode three came out last month, but its sudden halt in development changed that plan.
It’s unknown just how many developers would be hired, as Telltale still hasn’t nailed down whether the whole team would be needed or just a select few to finish up development (like the folks working in house on Minecraft for Netflix). It’s just a matter of if the employees are available, as a lot of them have actively begun looking for work following their sudden termination at Telltale.
There’s no word back from Telltale on the matter, so it’s hard to say what will happen next, or just how much of the original team will return to finish the game. So we may not see the end of The Walking Dead after all. We’ll just have to see how things go.1comments
All the same, we do wish all the former employees the best of luck in finding work, even if it’s not with Telltale.
(Hat tip to Kotaku for the scoop!)