Skybound Games had five staff when they stepped in to save The Walking Dead

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In a recent interview with Gamespot (opens in new tab), Telltale's former creative director Kent Mudle and CEO of Skybound Games Ian Howe discussed the resurrection of The Walking Dead: The Final Season (opens in new tab). When Telltale's closure was announced in 2018 only the first episode of the four-episode series had been released, and while the second made it out before doors closed the last two were still in early stages of pre-production. 

Skybound stepped in help out, even though their games division consisted only of five people. "We were less than a year old and we were still definitely in training wheels", Howe explained. Fortunately the work seems to have been relatively painless. "Telltale was literally the lowest maintenance team I've ever worked with," he said, "they literally just came back in and got on with the job."

Howe also discussed how important it was to get some of the original staff on board, giving at least temporary employment to over 40 laid-off Telltale employees. They formed a team called Still Not Bitten and even returned to what had been Telltale's office to finish the series. As Howe said, "These guys had been let go without any severance and have been through a tough situation--can we figure something out? Thankfully we were able to put together something pretty quickly, and I will give huge credit to the management of Telltale who went out of their way and did everything they could to make this deal happen as quickly as it could."

Mudle discussed how important it was that they were allowed to finish this project, which was clearly close to his heart. "Episode 4 makes me extremely emotional," he said, "honestly. Like a lot of it is tough near the end, in that it's kind of a loving tribute to the people that worked on the game. I still can't even look at it without getting a little misty-eyed. I'm just so proud of the work everybody did. We all came together to make this beautiful thing and to leave that stretching back into all the years that I worked with all of those people. It's the end of an era, and it's sad, but I'm glad we got to at least finish it in style."

You can read the full interview here (opens in new tab).

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.