It wasn’t clear what would happen to the final season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead after the company’s sudden and shocking closure in September. Production was picked up by Skybound Games, using some of the original Telltale team. The latest episode continues one of the series’ best seasons. But playing it, I get a sense that something is slightly off.
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After Telltale laid off roughly 90% of its staff on September 21, the studio said the remaining 25 employees would proceed with finishing work on Minecraft: Story Mode, an interactive show for Netflix. Today, a narrative designer who was one of those remaining employees stated on social media that she and other members of that “skeleton crew” have now been laid off as well.
Two weeks after Telltale Games laid off the bulk of its staff, the fate of the four-episode final season of the popular The Walking Dead series remains in question.
Behind closed doors, the company continues to work on a deal that would provide for the third and fourth episodes to be finished by another company using former Telltale employees, according to two people familiar with negotiation. And the third episode is already nearly finished, those people said.
Yesterday, what’s left of Telltale Games following mass layoffs last week released episode two of The Walking Dead: The Last Season. It’s good, and while it would take the series out on a high note, many fans are ambivalent about whatever comes next.
When The Walking Dead: The Final Season was named, it only referred to the end of the series and the end of Clementine’s story. Now, as Telltale Games begins a “majority studio closure” and has laid off hundreds of workers, the title takes on new meaning. It’s all the more tragic since the latest episode is some of the best Walking Dead we’ve had.