In a move that isn’t too encouraging for the state of the games industry, Telltale Games announced it has laid off approximately 25% of its developers, or 90 people. The move, according to a release from the company, is to becomes “more competitive as a developer and publisher of groundbreaking story-driven gaming experiences with an emphasis on high quality in the years ahead.”
While none of the company’s previously announced projects should be affected, it’s as yet unclear how much the company’s output will be decreased in the long term. Their stated goal is to create “fewer, better games with a smaller team.”
Telltale has been a highly prolific developer, cranking out adaptations of popular works such as The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Game of Thrones. It could be that the move to decrease headcount and improve their games is simply motivated by a desire to move ever upward in terms of quality; though there’s a fear that, particularly with other recent high-profile studio closures such as Visceral Games, the industry is facing something of an identity crisis. Single-player games are viewed as less-profitable than multiplayer games full of loot boxes and other micro-transactions that keep a game earning long after the $60 initial purchase is long forgotten.
Here’s hoping in Telltale’s case, it’s the former, not the latter.