Telltale Co-Founder Says the Way the Studio Was Shut down Was “Horrifying”
Kevin Bruner, co-founder and former CEO of Telltale Games has recently come out of the woodwork to share his thoughts on the sudden closing of the well known studio. In a recent interview with Game Informer he said the dramatic shut down of Telltale was “horrifying.”
Now as you may know Bruner left the company back in 2017 after being pushed out by the board and currently has an ongoing lawsuit with the company for financial damages. As such, while he may not know all the intricate details leading up to the closure, the studio shutting down hit him hard as well. When asked if he was surprised about the closure he stated that he only found out eight hours before it all went down. “I was completely taken by surprise at the closure. It was unthinkable to me that the studio would shut down, and I certainly knew that there [weren’t any] circumstances that get us anywhere near that. It was very dramatic, very sudden, and I can’t really speak more [about it]. I’ve since learned about the circumstances that caused the shutdown, and I can’t really speak to them. But they had nothing to do with the studio, with the products that were being built.”
While he won’t speak on what occurred leading up to Telltale’s closure he did put the rumors to rest about it being related to poor sales. He said, “You read Steam articles or articles about people saying, “Telltale’s sales were diminishing every year.” Compared against a Game of the Year like The Walking Dead, that’s true, but normalized out that’s not the case and certainly that wasn’t what impacted Telltale at all. It had nothing to do with the studio and the products that the studio was building at the time. I wish I could elaborate more.” Further to this he mentioned how horrible he felt for the employees and suggested he wouldn’t be surprised if some of the former employees hit back at what’s left of the studio.
In September 2018, on a Friday afternoon CEO Pete Hawley called for a company meeting for the Telltale employees and laid off over 90% of staff with no severance, no advance notice and with just nine days of health insurance left. Bruner calls this entire situation horrifying. “I will say that the way the studio was shut down was horrifying to me. People just showing up on a Friday and being told to go home because the company doesn’t exist anymore is not something I would have ever endorsed, and is absolutely not something I would have done.”
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