According to a recent tweet from Telltale Games, the final season of its episodic The Walking Dead game may still be completed if the studio is able to enlist the help of some outside partners. While some folks are excited that the series may receive some sort of resolution, others have chimed in stating concern for the former employees of the studio, stating that severance pay might be a better use of any remaining resources.
The above tweet features a brief statement from Telltale Games, who began the process of shuttering its studio last week. The statement claims “multiple potential partners” have come forward to discuss the possibility of helping wrap up the final season of The Walking Dead, with episodes three and four potentially released “in some form.”
The story of Telltale’s closure is a bizarre one and we by no means have all of the information just yet. Last week, it was announced that the studio was undergoing drastic downsizing in anticipation of closing. As a result, a small crew of about 25 was reportedly being kept on to finish the Minecraft: Story Mode project for Netflix, with around 250 employees being laid off immediately. To make matters worse, those folks were being fired without severance packages and their medical benefits are said to run out by the end of this week. This news was especially surprising considering the fact that Telltale reportedly hired new staff as recently as the week prior.
In terms of video games, this meant that known projects were being canceled, including Stranger Things and a long-awaited sequel to The Wolf Among Us. Netflix has since stated that they still plan to pursue a video game adaptation of the former, while the latter is quite likely gone for good. The bigger hit, though, was the final season of The Walking Dead. The second of four chapters launches today, with the third scheduled to launch in about a month and the fourth planned to launch about a month after that. It seems like both of those chapters would likely be near completion given that timeframe, but Telltale initially stated that the series would not be able to conclude.
This latest tweet, though, seems to be holding out hope that a conclusion, in some form or another, might potentially be developed. It would be a shame, obviously, to have such a long-running series get so close to the end of its tale only to come to a crashing halt.
Reactions online, though, have seen many less interested in seeing the game completed and more interested in seeing Telltale take care of its employees. Santa Monica Studio’s Cory Barlog (God of War) responded directly to the tweet, saying he hopes this means Telltale “will first pay your entire team their severance.” The general tone of replies is that the people should definitely be taken care of before the conclusion of the game.
To be clear, the nature of the closure and the potential partnership for The Walking Dead to be completed are still unknown. It’s possible that there is no money changing hands if such a deal were to be brokered so much as Telltale handing over all of their assets to another studio to finish the series on their own. We’ll just have to wait for more details, which Telltale said they hope to provide soon.