During a panel for The Walking Dead at New York Comic Con on 6 October, Robert Kirkman announced that Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season will be completed and released through his company, Skybound.
This is a positive moment in the Telltale saga.
At the panel, Kirkman stated: “We’ve successfully negotiated with Telltale Games for our company Skybound to come in and see season four of the Telltale game to completion”. Kirkman quipped that the world “can’t lose Andrew Lincoln and Clementine in the same year.”
This follows Telltale’s abrupt announcement on 21 September that it was facing a “majority studio closure.” The closure left the studio’s ongoing titles with an uncertain future, leading to Telltale pulling The Walking Dead: The Final Season from stores on 26 September. This was only a day after the second episode of the season had been released.
Kirkman quipped that the world “can’t lose Andrew Lincoln and Clementine in the same year.”
In a statement to The Verge, Telltale announced that they were “still working to find a way to hand off production of episodes three and four so that the season can be completed” as well as that “the outcome of those efforts will determine when and how The Final Season returns to stores.”
Skybound is famous for its comic book division, which is behind The Walking Dead, Invincible and Outcast, though they’ve also been branching out into game development over the past few months. Skybound Games, announced in April 2018, is set to focus on indie titles, beginning with publishing the console releases of Slime Rancher and The Long Dark.
This is a positive moment in the Telltale saga, which saw 250 Telltale employees lose their jobs without severance pay and at short notice. Many former developers at Telltale have commented on the harsh ‘crunch’ time, development process, toxic management and the oversaturation of the ‘Telltale brand’ of storytelling, and how it all contributed to the closure of Telltale.
Hopefully, this will serve as a wake-up call to other studios that continue to operate under similar practices.