Decoding the cause of The Walking Dead’s father suddenly declared bankruptcy

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On September 21, Tellale announced on Twitter that the company could not get out of difficulties, so it was reluctant to cut staff on a large scale, leaving only 25 employees to take care of everything. – This means that the company has announced its closure. Although it is not the most famous game company in the world, the story Telltale suddenly going to the last moment of his life still caused a lot of uproar.


On October 5, the game’s former story writer Rachel Noel also shared on her Twitter that 25 staff members have finally been disbanded, and quoted the classic line of Roy’s character in the series. the movie Blade Runner marks the end of Telltale’s 14 years of operation.

“All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Telltale is full of splendor with The Walking Dead

Telltale was founded in 2004 by Kevin Bruner, Dan Connors and Troy Molander, the company has been operating for 14 years so far. The first 4.5 years after its founding, Telltale has always kept a relatively small scale, the games that the company develops are usually works that already have an existing fan base, although they cannot earn large revenues, but enough for the company to operate stably.

By 2012, the company had a major turning point in its career. Its game The Walking Dead not only has a lot of sales and reputation, but also won the Game of the Year award from VGA – an award known as the Oscar of the game, the forerunner of TGA.


A company with a size of less than 100 employees suddenly “sitting” with the world’s leading game companies, The Walking Dead is considered a game that recreates the splendor of the adventure game series, earned a towering 9.3 rating from IGN.

Within 20 days of its release, The Walking Dead sold 1 million copies, must know at that time, a game only needed to sell 100,000 copies to maintain a balanced spending, up to now. Now, this game has brought in $ 40 million in revenue for Telltale. After this success, Telltale constantly expanded in size, and eventually reached more than 400 employees. This shows the great competitiveness of the company.

So when Telltale declared bankruptcy, almost all the media outlets used phrases like ‘no warning’ or ‘sudden death’ to express their astonishment. How can a game company with such a big position as Telltale say that it’s collapsed? But it all has its origin.

There are early signs of going down

Having abundant capital and human resources, Telltale specializes in acquiring extremely hot IPs for adaptation, but Telltale’s later works cannot achieve the same success as The Walking Dead.
Its games have not changed much, all games are equally average, using old technology with outdated engines that are up to 14 years old. Not to mention the game’s graphic quality, just the widespread bug phenomenon is enough to make a bunch of players back down.


In fact, Telltale doesn’t have a single game that is completely his, all of the company’s games are copyrighted from others, ultimately successful or not entirely thanks to the ‘re-fry’ technique. The royalties of large works are too high, leading to shortening of capital turnover time, so the company has to speed up the production, difficult to ensure the quality of the game.

At the same time, the company also had serious management problems when the company’s leaders intervened too deeply and the game development of the design department, sometimes even required changes to 80 % of game content, every day employees have to work from 14 to 18 hours, even 400 employees of this big company have to work overtime all night, so the creative talents keep taking turns. departure.

Late salvation

It’s not that Telltale didn’t realize its danger, but all of its rescue efforts failed.

In November 2017, Telltale announced a 25% reduction in staff, in an effort to use its best team to create the best games, enhancing the company’s competitiveness. In June 2018, Telltale announced Dad will stop using his 14-year-old Telltale Tool engine and replace it with Unity, while recruiting more talent, extending the release time of some games.


But it was too late for Telltale, the company had to cut most of its employees, which means it has reached the end of the road. And because of not giving 60 days notice before firing employees, it is likely that Telltale will face lawsuits from its own employees.

And since most of the company’s games use a narrative arc, the company’s closure means that the games players have been waiting for years will never end. Many game projects like The Wolf Among Us 2, The Walking Dead: The Final Season, Batman either canceled or paused.

After all, Telltale left me a mess, leaving players with endless stories and leaving the game village with a regretful trail on the path of development.

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