Although Telltale Games still seems to have plans to complete the final season of The Walking Dead even after the company's closure, it has come under fire by a pro-union group questioning that decision. The group, Game Workers Unite, believes that if the company can afford to complete the game, it can afford to take care of the 275 employees it recently laid off.
Telltale Games was founded in 2004 by former developers for LucasArts. It wasn't until 2012, though, that the company made a name for itself, with the release of The Walking Dead narrative roleplaying game. That title created an entirely new kind of gaming experience, one where players focused more on story and decision-based choices than traditional combat and gameplay. The company followed up the success of that title with further games in The Walking Dead franchise, as well as other franchises, including Game of Thrones, Minecraft Story Mode, Batman: The Telltale Series and Guardians of the Galaxy. The first episode of the final season of The Walking Dead released on August 14, with a second episode due on September 24.
Perhaps that's why fans were so shocked when news recently broke that Telltale Games was shutting down its studio and had already fired most of its employees. That left many questioning what would happen with the final season of The Walking Dead, particularly with many fans of the franchise who purchased a season pass. Telltale took to Twitter to assure fans that it was doing what it could to complete the game:
However, that news sparked outrage from Game Workers Unite, a union group that seeks to protect the rights of those who work in the video game industry. The organization questioned how Telltale could afford to complete a game and not pay severance to the workers it laid off.
Telltale already faces a class action lawsuit from employees who believe the company violated U.S. labor laws, as well as labor laws in California, where Telltale is headquartered. Those laws state employees in companies with 100 or more employees should receive 60 days notice before mass layoffs. Telltale's former employees also did not receive severance and are seeking benefits and pay that would make up for those 60 days of work.
Game Workers Unite also tweeted that finishing the game wasn't even possible "without the craft and care of the workers who were fired." And the organization has a point: fans of the series want a game that has the same amount of love and care the previous installments had, and at this point, they will probably not get it, even if Telltale does go forward with plans to complete the series.
Source: Game Workers Unite