How Telltale Went Broke



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How a reliance on investment funding, a fruitless formula, and leaks to the press precipitated one catastrophic week in Telltale's 14-year history.Reliance on investment funding:



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gaming news telltale telltale games shutting down telltale shutting down


Airplanes submarines
Telltale went to helltale
Anthony Hertlein
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Axel The Red Panda
Looks like they pushed the wrong button in the quick time event
Bassem Elmehdawi
The problem is when you over saturate the market with your own games, you end up competing with yourself. It would be impossible to remain lucrative when your releases are forcing consumers to chose between your games.
Benn
So in short: telltale accidentally replicated, on a much smaller scale, the video game crash of the 80’s. Putting out the same product over and over again as a cash grab doesn’t work folks!
Billy Bobblesmith
Democratic Leadership never works.\nLearn your lessons.
Black Lung
Telltale went broke because of *ILLUSION OF CHOICE*
Bred In Captivity
I'd say the decline in sales has less to do with the formula being used over and over again, and more to do with the games being a con that people stopped falling for. The first and only Telltale game I played was Wolf Among Us. While there were certain aspects I did enjoy, I couldn't help but notice that there really wasn't any gameplay involved (were there maybe quick time events? I don't remember). It seemed like the only meaningful interaction there was to be had were the dialogue choices the game wouldn't stop telling me were just super duper double important. Funny thing was it didn't feel like these decisions were important while I was playing. (SPOILERS) I really couldn't put my finger on it until the part of the story where Mr. Toad and his family are about to be sent to the farm. He's telling me how he doesn't have money for his human disguise and I immediately think \
Bronze
We live in an economy.
CaptainYoul
Can we also agree that the episodic formula doesn't work, nobody like to play a game for 1.5h then wait 2 month to play 1h then repeat the cycle for almost half a year
ChibiGirlyGamer
Oh gosh. They seem to know nothing of their market and even more on business itself. It makes sense why they went out of business.
Cory90
Walking dead is a garbage show
CyrusRiffs
They're talking about Non-disclosure Agreements when they talk about legal action. Breach of NDA has historically resulted in legal action, this isn't a new concept in the games industry, and it definitely isn't exclusive to Telltale. A company will likely lose a client if a leak occurs, or the client will be able to negotiate a better deal at the least. So companies can be very militant with leaks. And yes, it's likely the client would blame the company in the instance of a leak occuring during a focus group. I mean, did they vet the guys running the focus groups? Why didn't they have someone there making sure no one was filming? etc etc They'll say it's negligence. And a lot of the time they'd be right to be honest.
DEAD ACCOUNT
It's pronounced \
Dagon Fell
investment funding is what destroys everything, focusing on getting a percentage of the sales would be one thing but instead those investors want a specified bonus percentage that eats the salaries of those that make the product. now for a game company that means to have to always sell better always sell more, if you do not meet the quota: no more investors\n\nso ALWAYS GO FOR SALES REVENUES or go TELLTALE STYLE and DIE
Daniel Adams
*the economy will remember that
Dat Boi Mikey
So basically telltale died because their games made you pay for a like and a dislike button 😂😂why buy it when you can watch YouTube😂😭
David Becket
Hmm, so what's the lesson here? Make your next game on the profits of your first one? Don't rely solely on investors?
David Romig
Wow, Telltale contacted me looking to interview me a year ago, and I had to inform them that they were probably too far north for me to commute daily, and we both passed on each other. Looking at what happened to them now, that passed chance was probably a good thing.
David Whatley
Dude, it's easy to say things like \
Defy The Ocean
After walking dead they should have focused on a new engine with better gameplay mechanics and graphics. The issue is they didn't use the walking dead to invest in the future of this game type. They just ran it into the ground.
DelicatessenMayo
What is nish. It’s pronounced knee-sh. Niche. The I is and E sound.
Dia Nuevo
You forgot to mention the borderlands game they mande which won them an award at the gotys.
Discordian
ngl I hated Telltale. It's unfortunate people lost their jobs, but their marketing caused many people to buy their games not knowing they're story-based, entirely lacking of gameplay. I understand they had high-reviews, but a lot of sales were by moms buying games for their kids, thinking it was something else. I know this because last Christmas the younger ones in my family got the Telltale Minecraft game, and it isn't what anybody wanted. I have a large family, and this was a very upsetting issue.\n\nI genuinely feel the only reason Telltale had any success at all was because they had dedicated fans to certain brands and stories, and they thought they were making games that were just genuinely enjoyable on their own. I don't feel like they made it clear they were making story-games with little actual gameplay (which, that type of game isn't bad), causing certain consumers (like myself) to look for the Telltale logo, and avoid the game. If they were marketed as stories, explicitly as interactive stories, I'm convinced they would have had a higher chance of being successful. This could create their own market, with other studios competing, boosting their own sales too.\n\nThis is besides all the obvious mismanagement that this video outlines.
Dwarf Show
Wait... Did you greenscreen yourself onto a slightly different shade of green?
Felep Channel
blue hair wat
Flavius Belisarius
The walking dead season 1 was their only game I can honestly say I enjoyed all the way through
HauntedShadowsLegacy
15:33 That only counts for AAA, high-profile games. Indie developers still churn out nice games with only a small handful of staff. Some notable games were even made by SOLO Indie devs! Heard of Stardew Valley?\n\nIt doesn't HAVE to take a massive team six years to make a single game. It could be a stay-at-home dad spending his free time over three years on a small, simple game.
Hequiles
Telltale games are not loved for their gameplay. They’re loved for their amazing story that makes you feel like your choices matter. I’ve played The Wolf Among Us, a brilliant storytelling game that makes you feel like the ‘Big Bad Wolf’.\nI’ve played Tales from the Borderlands, a game that I regard as my favourite storytelling game of all time. A game that impacts the Borderlands franchise as a whole.\nI still have yet to touch the Walking Dead but seeing as every game I’ve played from Telltale is regarded as one of my favourites I can only hope for it to be soon.\n\nEDIT: I have begun to play TWD, holy shit there are way more game changing decisions. Truly the peak of Telltales storytelling.
Horrigan Frank
I played a lot of their games on YouTube.
Indigo Gaming
Love your research and reasonable approach on things. In the age of clickbait and \
Internet Nobody
Hi from one professional to another: you gotta learn how to color correct and use white balance if you wanna get rid of the blue halo around your head. pro tip its easier with a green screen than it is with a blue. to remove the jagged edges around your head: use 1 chromakey to shrink down the area your are trying to key out get as close as you can with chopping anything off and make sure to fill everything that is not meant to be keyed out than soften/expand the edges to create a nice large border around you; then use a second chromakey to remove that border. if it doesnt get it exact you can keep using more chromakeys til you get it.
Izabella Sonier
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Jacob Martin
Dude, get a doctor. At about 13:49 your hand just freakin disappeared.
Jake
Days before they went bankrupt, the Vice President of Telltale, along with a whole team of recruiters came to our college, gave a whole 3 hour talk on storytelling and was doing a recruitment drive. It was on the Wednesday or Thursday right before they declared bankruptcy. Funny how most of them didn't really realize or were hiding it.
John Cena Fan PH
I Started Playing TWD When My Brother Download It We Enjoyed Playing That Awesome Game But We Can't Complete The Episode Because We Need To Pay We Don't Have Cards Like Visa We Were Upset We Played TWD When Its Released I Guess Its uhm...2014-2018 or 2015-2018\n\nGoodbye The Walking Dead \nBye Telltale Games We Love You Thank You For All The Games You Made For Peaple..
Joseph Kerr
Basically, Telltale had a one-hit wonder and assumed that all they had to do was copy that one-hit wonder over and over again to achieve success. They're not the first group of people to fall into that trap.
Josh Landel
Pour one out for Tales From The Borderlands season 2
Justyn
Heh. Telltale was like the Funko Pop of vidyagames. Snap up every IP in sight and pump out the same product.
Kalenz
I was complaining for years about the game sins in telltale titles that were always kept. I didn't mind that they sticked to a single formula but not improving that formula at all was just lazy.\nSimple things like unskippable cutscenes, unskippable spoilers for next episodes, etc..\n\nEven when they made improvements like dividing episodes into chapters they actually dropped that and reverted back. \nHearing about the management I can actually imagine a CEO or some head designer going like \
Kcaj Memez
What I clicked on this video for: Curiosity about the topic, strong thumbnail and title.\n\nWhat I stayed for: The undertale music
Kenneth Madry
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Koarnhoalur
A stubborn boss who essentially ran a sweat shop into the ground because \
KumaPaws376
“Telltale will remember that.”
Leonardo Domínguez Lobos
Calling it \
LulzBat
Get woke go broke.
Major Zipf
Damn. It’s really too bad. Those were some of my favorite games. I’m so sick of inept leadership at previously great game companies ruining our beloved titles. The creators and the gamers have invested hundreds of hours of love and time and all they see is our shekels. Makes me friggin crazy. And sad. Mostly sad. 😓😪
Marc Alcatraz
This video should be titled “best example of everything wrong with the video game industry”
Matthew Shelley
I still can't understand the warped mindsets of people who aren't rich CEO's and might be overworked and underappreciated employees themselves condemning unions as a bad thing. NO other industry is able to get away with half of what the AAA game industry gets away with and unions are one of the reasons why. What's so wrong about holding companies accountable for mistreating their workers?
Mike D
9:30 \
Mysterious Jojo
This is the first time I’ve ever seen gameplay of the Guardians of the Galaxy game, so that must say a lot about the quality.
NFITC1
I think this is why indie-games are getting more prolific. Gaming companies all tend to burn out after a while. It sounds like they needed to learn about the \
NaZtRdAmUs
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Name not found
R.I.P. Walking Dead. Press F to pay respects.
Narcissist Margarine
The reason you don't get the pre holiday strike in game development as you do in other fields is because games can cut corners and still be \
NoJusticeNoPeace
Props for not saying \
Not Just Tube
I honestly believe the poor sales numbers didn't come from the fact that people didn't not know about a lot of their titles, but because the majority of people that knew about them were much more preoccupied watching someone else play them on YouTube rather than play them themselves.
Picker
and nothing of value was lost
ProductionStops
Didnt know that they did a guardians of the galaxy game
Protoka
Why telltale actually went bankrupt.\nYou have 2 important choices, this decision matters.\nOption A gives result 1\nOption B gives result 1\nOh no you got result 1 you're a terrible person I bet you feel bad, you bad you guy.
Puzzle Boss
So glad this shit company died looool
Rexodiak
I caught that message in the thumbnail, yes I _am_ quite observant thank you!
Richard Carson
1. get woke\n2. go broke\n3. ????????\n4. profit
Rick Sanchez
Man, stop trying to hide your receding hairline, you're making it look goofy AF...\n\n*EMBRACE IT!!!!*
Sebastian Brinkmann
They had too many projects. Should' ve just focused on Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us. Also: embrace your baldness, don' t \
Serbon
I just want to see The Wolf Among Us Season 2.
Sgt. Nikolai Kalashnikov
Good video.\n\nShave your head and keep the beard tho.
Smilomaniac
They could've used new animators a lot sooner too. Watching every character move like out of a 3D rendered movie from the 90's was very, very bad.
SpoonSauce
You're a top-notch writer and reporter. Thanks for the years of great content!
Spud Bud
I played and finished the first season of the walking dead. \n\nThe gimmick of choice was new and nice back then. But it was just that. A gimmick. The \
Sr Pudinzinho
A Super Bunnyhop notification is almost a jumpscare
Strat-Edgy Productions
As someone who works in the games industry, I can tell you that bosses know all about this but it is incredibly easy to replace us with eager and willing dopes.
Syrmor
You're one of the only people that makes super informative and well researched videos about subjects like these instead of just jumping to conclusions to make sure you get your video out first
TFTony
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Terrance McCann
Why does this video make me cry?
The 80's Wolf
I love the fact we will never see more of telltales overrated cashgrabs
The Great Gobbo Kit
so, my takeaway is developers need unions too
TheBrazilRules
Good ridance. They planted this when they stopped doing games and started obsessing over telling stories...
TheDirewolf 1234
Your choices affect how you play.
ThomasMink
The sort of 'graphic novel/choose your own adventure' approach was... somewhat interesting, I guess.. at least for The Wolf Among Us. But I was hoping for a return of Sam & Max at some point, which I think I recall getting shot down on their forums when it was brought up.\nThat's about when I realized they were stagnating, and I stopped paying attention entirely.
Tiwaking Tiwaking
*Steamed Hams: But its a Telltale Game*
Tristan
I'll never understand how you talk about \
WhatsY0UTUB3
\u003emake super basic games that require almost no thought to create\n\u003epretend like the choices you make actually affect the game\n\u003ecool at least it does something different, i dont mind missing out on some gameplay to experience two completely different stories in the same universe\n\u003eplay through once thinking this\n\u003eplay through again and make different choices\n\u003ealmost exactly the same\n\nidiots
Whirlwhind1
SBCG4AP is the only game for me.
William Poole
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Xanderian
Telltale Games was so proud of their \
bashpr0mpt
You ignored the political aspect. They are all political zealots. Anti-white, anti-straight, anti-male content in a demographic that is 90%+ straight white males is probably a great way to go broke. When you attack, belittle, berate, and exert institutionalized discrimination from a position of power against an ethnic minority group like Germanic peoples (1%) and other 'whites' as they call Europeans (5%) while constantly peddling anti-male content (49%) then pretend you're defending minorities you're going to get pushback. Farmville and iPad games don't make a gamer, no matter what ACLU cash funnelling machine IGN tells you. The people the far left hate the most still make up the majority of all game consumers. You can ignore the elephant in the room, but everyone who watched the Twitter spat roll out knows why they went bump. #GetWokeGoBroke
civoreb
Sadly i only liked walking dead games. Other games were 95% puzzles and 5% story. I like story driven games
crisp succ
step 1: make wack ass \
damsparty
Telltale won't remember this
drradon
I like the tell tale formula. I would not have minded a newer engine, but i also like other games in the same nich like life is strange or detroit. :-/
el
Super Bunnyhop: \
intravena
You have one of the worst hairstyles I've ever seen.\n\nInteresting video tho
kingsofserbiangameplay 162
Telltale games: *[goes bankrupt]*\nMe: lol
lacountess
It could also be a case of other, more expensive, better made story-based games winning the competition. The highly anticipated, highly polished, Detroit: Become Human was released in May of 2018 and took the market by storm, forcing all other story driven games to match its quality or perish. I’m not surprised Telltale went bust only a few months after that.
machariel00
They went woke.
mraaronhd
How did Telltale go broke?\n\nWell, here is a video explaining some of the Telltale signs!
ntall123
Whats funny is that original walking dead game was only good cause its story. The engine and \
rionhunter
\