It’s no secret that the old Telltale games wasn’t exactly good to its staff, employing intense crunch and pushing workers to their breaking points before laying them off without payment when the company dissolved, due to bad decisions made by those in high positions.
It’s not a great story and still one that many feel strongly about, which means when the latest project from the now-reformed studio, The Wolf Among Us 2, was announced, fans and critics were sceptical in their reception.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the company, with the new CEO Jamie Ottilie addressing concerns in a new interview with GamesDaily.
Ottie suggested that he understands that games are “made by people who deserve care” in the interview and goes on to add that he feels people should be “recognised and rewarded” within the company, but personally, it seems to ring a bit false, especially when you consider that he doesn’t fully rule out the idea of crunch periods in the interview, instead dodging the question.
It’s a bit of a tricky situation, but personally, if you’re going into an interview where you’re aware that you’re going to be asked questions about the treatment of staff and fan concern, maybe don’t just say that you’re “ignoring those that want to spin things negatively” and instead try to think about why exactly they’re justified and how your dismissal of their concerns could be seen as the confirmation of similar practices in future.
It’s understandable that the company is eager to move away from the past, as many were not involved with it during its last iteration, but at the same time, the developer needs to understand that many will draw these links to the previous studio and that this needs to be handled delicately.
What do you think about the situation?