Narrative adventure developer Telltale Games is currently working on The Wolf Among Us 2 and has just released The Expanse: A Telltale Series. There were layoffs that one former employee said affected “most” of the studio.
The news first broke via a post on X (formerly Twitter) by former Telltale film artist Jonah Huang, who said that these layoffs occurred in early September:
This is a sensitive topic, but I feel it’s necessary to add something to the gaming layoff news: Telltale laid off most of us in early September. I cannot say the status of TWAU2 (NDA).
Now I focus on what matters to me – my own game and the following words:
Gaming industry, we need to UNIONIZE.
– jjonahjonahson (@jjonahjonahson) October 5, 2023
Telltale confirmed in a statement sent to IGN that there have been layoffs, but did not confirm the number or extent. His statement is as follows:
Due to current market conditions, we unfortunately had to lay off part of our Telltale team recently. We did not take this action lightly, and our commitment to storytelling and finding new avenues remains. We thank everyone for their commitment on this journey and are working to support everyone affected. All projects currently in development are still in production and we have no further updates at this time.
Notably, Huang was also part of the first version of Telltale Games, which also suffered significant layoffs before shutting down completely in 2019. The closure was attributed to the withdrawal of investors, but a year later LCG Entertainment revived the company name and several of its assets and also hired a number of its former employees. At the 2019 Game Awards, the company announced that it would be creating a sequel to Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us for a planned 2023 release. Then, earlier this year, we sat down with Telltale CEO Jamie Ottlie, who explained that the game was delayed because of difficulties porting from Unreal Engine 4 to 5 and a desire to avoid problems. There is currently no new release date.
As Huang notes, these layoffs appear to have come just weeks after Telltale acquired British studio Flavourworks.
These layoffs are part of an ongoing trend of mass layoffs in the industry, which has affected a number of major studios this year and last. These include layoffs at Naughty Dog, Team 17, Ascendant, Blizzard, BioWare, Epic Games, Blackbird Interactive, Striking Distance, BioWare Again, Ubisoft, Scavengers Studio, CD Projekt, Embracer Group’s numerous subsidiaries, Deviation Games, The Molasses Flood and Relic Entertainment, Xbox, Riot Games, Unity and many more.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Do you have a story tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.