The final episodes for Telltale Games “The Walking Dead: The Final Season” will be released afterall, with Skybound taking over development and publishing of the game, “Walking Dead” creator and Skybound founder Robert Kirkman announced Saturday. Skybound also hopes to keep the original Telltale development team intact so they can be the ones to finish the season.
Skybound Games will work with members of the original Telltale team to finish the story, though nothing has yet been finalized, a spokesperson told Variety. Skybound never used in-house developers on its games before.
“We’ve successfully negotiated with Telltale Games for our company Skybound to come in and see Season 4 of the Telltale game to completion,” Kirkman told an audience at New York Comic-Con Saturday night. “We can’t lose Andrew Lincoln and Clementine in the same year.”
Telltale Games’ sudden catastrophic laying off of nearly all of its 274 employees with no notice, no severance, and barely a week’s worth of health care last month came just a day after two potential investors walked away from potential funding talks.
Both AMC and Smilegate were in discussions to invest in Telltale Games, a deal that management had been working on to essentially save the company, sources told Variety at the time.
Days after the original layoffs hit, a former employee filed a lawsuit on behalf of all of those let go, saying that Telltale Games violated state and federal labor laws with the mass layoff because it didn’t give proper notice.
After the layoff, the company said it was keeping on about two dozen employees to finish the port of Telltale’s “Minecraft” game for Netflix. Just last week, though, another group of those remaining members were let go.
Telltale CEO Pete Hawley told Variety on Thursday that the studio was still going through a lot and that he planned to make another statement in the next few days. That same day, Robert Kirkman announced during a New York Comic-Con talk about “The Walking Dead” that fans of the game should “stay tuned. Everyone involved is trying to make sure Clementine’s story is told.”
Skybound Entertainment was created by Kirkman in 2010 to develop properties both in traditional and new media including television, film, video games, and digital media. Earlier this year, Skybound created Skybound Games to help develop its IP into video games.
Skybound created the Telltale deal to turn the comic book version of “The Walking Dead” into a piece of interactive fiction. They’ve also teamed with Scopley to create the smartphone game “The Walking Dead: Road to Survival,” with Starbreeze on shooter “Overkill’s The Walking Dead,” and with Skydance Interactive on virtual reality game “The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners.” The company also backed Free Range Games’ “Labyrinth” and Oxenfree’s “Night School Studios.”
AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which has spurred a few games including successful mobile titles, are not connected to the Skybound games, which are based strictly on the comic book, not the television show.