Yesterday, news broke that developer Telltale Games (famed for creating several well-received episodic titles, such as The Walking Dead) had laid off most of its staff in what some believe to be the end of the studio. Since then, one former Telltale employee has taken to Twitter to voice his frustration with his recent retrenchment.
Brandon Cebenka, a former character artist at Telltale Games, posted a tweet stating that he had not received a severance package from the developer. Cebenka further went on to state that he had worked several long nights and weekends to meet deadlines with absolutely nothing to show for it. His last statement is one urging others not to work overtime for free.
Re: I got laid off at Telltale
None of my sleepless nights or long hours on weekends trying to ship a game on time got me severance today. Don’t work overtime unless you’re paid for it, y’all. Protect your health. Companies don’t care about you.
— Brandon Cebenka (@Binkysaur) September 21, 2018
Cebenka’s comment is one of just many made by former Telltale employees on social media, where other video game industry professionals have offered their support. According to a statement released by Telltale yesterday, a skeleton staff team consisting of 25 employees has been retained to finish up the developer’s final commitments to its board and partners. Currently, it is unknown as to what projects these pertain to, with some sources suggesting that the team is there to complete Minecraft Story Mode for Netflix and that The Walking Dead: Final Season may remain unfinished.
This is not the first time that Telltale Games has been accused of poor employee treatment. Earlier this year, it was suggested that the developer had frequently overworked employees in an attempt to finish multiple projects on-time – a scenario which has frequently suggested to be unfortunately common in the video game industry.
With Telltale Games having laid off over 90 employees in November last year, perhaps it is not all that surprising that the developer is said to officially be closing its doors. This, however, does not make the situation any less sad. Hopefully, former staff members will be able to find new employment opportunities in the near future.
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