A few days ago, Telltale Games announced that it was closing down. The executives terminated roughly 250 employees, some of which had relocated and started positions less than a week before the announcement. The studio didn't offer those employees severance or any other warning that this might happen.
Vernie Roberts, a Telltale employee, has initiated a class-action lawsuit against his former employer, stating that the company violated labor laws by not informing employees before their termination. According to a report by Polygon, "the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, stipulates that most businesses with at least a hundred full-time workers must notify employees sixty days in advance of any plant closings or mass layoffs."
It's obvious that the manner in which Telltale closed was flawed and irresponsible. The fact that executives are partnering with potential partners to continue The Walking Dead: The Final Season and not offering former employees severance is questionable to say the least. Hopefully the courts will find in favor of the employees.
There are reports that Telltale has filed for bankruptcy. If this happens, then even a win won't get the employees any compensation unless the government determines that Telltale executives lied about their financial situation. We'll keep you posted as soon as we know more. Hopefully those terminated will be able to find positions in the gaming industry soon. There need to be more protections for those who work as developers so that those individuals can avoid such precarious situations.
Keep an eye on WindowsCentral.com/Gaming for all the latest in Xbox and Windows 10 gaming, accessories, news, and reviews!
Windows Central Newsletter
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.
It seems every other day a game studio is shutting its doors. What is that makes these companies so unviable?
Fortnite. Everything else is left in the dust lately.
Development costs continue to rise while the price consumers are willing to play continues to decline because of freemium games. The market is becoming increasingly bifurcated between AAA and Indie titles, leaving basically no room for medium sized studios. That and the fact that TellTale was handling some extremely expensive IPs and never reached mass market appeal due to their niche category (too casual for gamers, too demanding for casual players).
Not unexpected in the US 'land of the lawsuit'
What Telltale did was just plain wrong. This is one of those rare cases where the lawsuit was definitely warranted. I guarantee you the execs are still getting paid their full salary and health insurance is still covered.
Gotta love the age of golden parachutes. Hell, excetutives can fix it to where they will mamke more money if the company fails rather than run for long term success.
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.