It’s been a very hard few years for Telltale Games. The developer of iconic adventure games which helped revive a genre was once riding high on the success of Season One of The Walking Dead. Trouble was, they failed to recapture that financial high, and slowly sunk into financial issues over the last couple of years. Ever since that high point, Telltale has steadily been holding back the tide of closure, but with ever-dwindling sales numbers that closure was inevitable. And as of September 2018, that’s exactly what appeared to have happened when Telltale fired the majority of their staff, without severance pay.
As the news of the closure and mass layoffs broke, gamers wondered what would happen next. Well now we know exactly what that next phase looks like. Telltale Games has been consolidated under a newly formed LLC. This is apparently part of the liquidation process that would follow these types of deals. The idea here is to sell off any remaining assets that were part of Telltale, and then pay off a portion of the debt owed to creditors with the proceeds. A report from GameDaily.biz goes into more detail. Even including a letter to investors and creditors, dated November 11, 2018, which reveals that assignment proceedings had begun already a month prior.
According to attorney and Odin Law & Media founder Brandon Huffman, this is a pretty standard process carried out for the benefit of those holding Telltale’s various debts.
“Telltale LLC is probably just a shell company that will hold the assets for purposes of selling them off. The liquidation company may even be the owner of that LLC. It’s also possible that the company will go bankrupt and that their only remaining income for their creditors will be whatever the liquidation company pays them under any other arrangement they might have.”
What happens next is that the various assets of Telltale will be sold off to the highest bidder, including physical goods, trademarks, copyrights, software, and source code.
As of right now, the Steam store pages for various games have been disabled. They still technically exist, and the games are still playable if you already own them, but you can’t purchase new copies anymore. The Walking Dead series is no longer available save for a demo for The Walking Dead: The Final Season. Jurassic Park, Wallace & Gromit, Poker Night 2, and many others are also no longer available.
No word yet on when or if these games will return for sale. We’ll have to wait for the closure process to complete, and a new buyer to pick up the rights and associated assets, to know for sure.