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The sad saga of Telltale’s fall is due one last tragic chapter. GOG have just announced that all of the defunct choose-your-own-adventure studio’s games will be de-listed next Monday, May 27th at 11am BST. That includes Telltale’s own games like Puzzle Agent, and all three seasons of Sam & Max adventures, as well as licensed games like The Wolf Among Us, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Batman, and the excellent Tales From The Borderlands. The last of which has already been removed from Steam, though publisher 2K Games are working to bring it (and it alone) back, as reported by Eurogamer.
Following yesterday’s initial reports that Telltale Games were effectively shutting down, the studio behind licensed story ’em ups including The Walking Dead and Batman: The Enemy Within have confirmed the bad news. All but 25 Telltale employees have been let go (that’s 250-ish people gone, former members report), cut down to a skeleton crew to “fulfil the company’s obligations to its board and partners.” The studio say they’ve had “a year marked by insurmountable challenges.” Telltale haven’t yet confirmed quite what will happen to their past, present, and future games, saying they’ll talk about their portfolio “in the coming weeks”, but I wouldn’t expect much more from them. What a sorry mess.
Update: Telltale have officially confirmed the bad news that they’ve closed most the studio and only 25 employees remain.>
As reported by Gamasutra, it seems that prolific choose-your-own-adventure studio Telltale Games is shutting down. This is backed up by media posts from developers at and close to the studio, such as Outerloop’s Chandana Ekanayake.
The Verge report that a skeleton crew of around 25 will remain at the studio, down from around 250. A source tells USGamer the upcoming The Wolf Among Us 2 and a Stranger Things adventure series have been cancelled. Telltale Games have released no official statement yet.
As an actual adult human being who still reads DC comics, I have to put up with a lot of BatBullShit. It’s not the brooding that gets to me or even the weird and sudden flips between psychologically scarring street-level crimefighting and wacky Justice League space adventures. It’s not the callbacks to events from previous decades that I don’t care about or understand, and it’s not even the fact that the world’s greatest detective solves far too many problems by punching people until they stop moving.
It’s the romance that bothers me. The sexytimes. I really don’t care if Batman and Catwoman are making out on a rooftop, or tearing off each other’s costumes in Crime Alley or some other unfortunate locale. It’s not that I object to any of these mostly miserable characters having a bit of fun every once in a while, but just as in a computer game when two doll-like faces smash together and I’m supposed to pretend I’m witnessing a passionate and intimate moment, these caped and costumed comic characters don’t seem real enough for anything other than the kind of sex-free coupling that Ken and Barbie might engage in.
How remarkable, then, that Telltale’s Batman Series actually had my favourite romantic moment in any game I’ve played for a good while.
The worst kept secret of Telltale’s digital choose-your-own-adventures is that there’s really not much choosing involved. While incidental details may change, the main thrust of the story doesn’t. That may also be the case for the final episode in Telltale’s well received second season of Batman adventures, but while your decisions may eventually lead roughly to the same end, it feels like every call carries extra weight this time, as you help define your personal origin for a truly legendary antagonist.
Concluding Batman: The Enemy Within, the fifth and final episode – Same Stitch – is out now, and its two launch trailers paint two very contrasting pictures of the man who is to become The Joker.
Telltale Games have laid off 90 people today, shrinking the company’s workforce by around 25%. The company says it won’t affect any of their currently announced projects, which includes The Walking Dead’s fourth season, Batman: The Enemy Within, and a second season for Wolf Among Us. (more…)
Telltale Games have hastily updated the latest episode of Batman: The Enemy Within [official site] to remove an in-game photograph of a murder victim which bore a striking resemblance to a real-world photo of murdered Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov following his assassination. Telltale avoid addressing how this happened, but do say they “regret this incident occurred” are “taking appropriate internal action”. (more…)