Telltale’s sudden shuttering left everyone in the games industry stunned. The rapid nature of the closing has led to a lot of confusion and conflicting stories. However, with the dust settling (somewhat), we may start seeing more stories come out about what exactly went down over there. Apparently, the disbandment of Telltale came about after an unnamed company backed out of financing.
Co-founder Dan Connors spoke to Variety about the ordeal. Clearly still rattled by the turn of events, he managed to go into a little detail of what went wrong.
The company was working diligently to close a round of financing. Unfortunately, when the last potential financial backer abruptly pulled out, we were left in a position where we had no choice but to stop production. Sadly, everyone was so focused on doing what was required to keep the company going that when the last potential partner backed out, there were no other options.
Connors never mentioned the company by name, but sources tell Variety the company in question was likely Lionsgate. The studio had previously partnered up with Telltale back in 2015, reportedly investing $40 million in the developer. The two companies supposedly had an ambitious plan for a “super show,” which was to combine live-action storytelling with an interactive game. That project never took off, similar to Telltale’s procedural zombie game that was canceled in March 2018.
After Lionsgate pulled out due to a desire to “refocus on its core business,” Telltale thought it found its holy grail: Netflix. The two announced a partnership involving a number of projects, including a Stranger Things game. Sadly, time had run out, and Telltale pulled the plug after failing to secure financial backing.
That leaves the Stranger Things game in a limbo of sorts. Netflix has stated its commitment to bringing the pop culture phenomenon to game systems in some form, with some developers like Devolver Digital throwing their hat into the ring to be considered a contender. However, it’s unlikely to look like the alleged Telltale footage that leaked.