Telltale Games can't seem to catch a fair break as in addition to its ongoing struggles, the company now faces a lawsuit from its former CEO and co-founder Kevin Bruner.
Telltale is an independent developer with some measure of success with its The Walking Dead series of games, as well as its Batman: The Telltale Series. Bruner helped found the company in 2004 with several of his co-workers from LucasArts. They released their first game in 2005, Telltale Texas Hold 'Em, as well as several CSI-based games. However, the company's claim to fame came in 2011 with its episodic The Walking Dead game. That game led to several sequels, including a new one that will arrive in August. The company established itself as a big player in RPGs, with its unique style of gameplay focused almost exclusively on dialogue choices made by players within the game.
Bruner became CEO in 2015, but the company fired him from that capacity in 2017. Although he was to remain on the board of directors after that, he was eventually removed from that role, too. The Marin Independent Journal reports that Bruner is now suing Telltale over breach of contract after being let go from the company and its board of directors. Bruner stated that while he was still on the board of directors, the company was "contractually obligated to provide him informational support as he prepared to sell his holdings in common and preferred stock," but Bruner claims that this did not happen. Then he claims that the company kicked him off the board by members who he states did not have enough stock in the company to vote on such matters.
Although The Walking Dead games gave Telltale a great deal of success, the past year has seen the company begin to struggle. The company laid off over 90 workers in 2017 to restructure with a focus on making less games with a smaller development team. In March, reports began to surface that the company had a toxic work environment in which employees were working with old tech for last-minute crunches before a game deadline that would include big changes. Employees claim that they worked longer hours than most and with schedules that rarely made sense.
Whatever happens with the lawsuit, Telltale is still continuing onward. After the release of the final game in The Walking Dead series, the studio has plans to develop a game based on Stranger Things, as well as an interactive TV experience for Minecraft: Story Mode.
Source: The Marin Independent Journal