Skybound Games took development of the game’s final episodes in-house, striving — it said — to bring on as much staff as possible to conclude the story.
“It’s been a ton of work logistically and legally to get us to a place where we’re able to roll up our sleeves and get to the actual work,” the studio said. “After Telltale shut its doors, the game was, unfortunately, unable to be worked on and hence the release dates of Episodes 3 and 4 have been delayed. But we’re excited to let you know that many of the talented, passionate team members who originally worked on the game are resuming development efforts today!
“Soon, we will be announcing release dates for the two remaining episodes. It’s likely that previous seasons of the game may be unavailable to purchase for a few days as we transition—but don’t panic!—we’ll have everything back online ASAP. If you already purchased Season Four, you will not have to pay again; future episodes will be available to download as soon as they are released via your original point of purchase.”
The news comes as Telltale Games winds down its operations, liquidating the company and pulling its titles for sale from Steam. 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 hit in September, 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. Weeks later, though, another group of those remaining members were let go. The company later announced that the final episodes for Telltale Games “The Walking Dead: The Final Season” will be released after all, with Skybound taking over development and publishing of the game.
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.