Originally formed in 2004 by former LucasArts employees following the cancellation of Sam & Max: Freelance Police, Telltale was intended to continue LucasArts' history of adventure game development. Due to this, Telltale has specialized in episodic point-and-click adventure games from the company's conception, especially focusing on licensed properties.
Although the company's initial offerings were met with often mixed response, Telltale found major success in The Walking Dead, elevating the company's reputation almost overnight. Following the game's conclusion, Telltale began entering a number of noteworthy licensing deals, creating games for properties such as Borderlands, Minecraft, and Batman, routinely seeing moderate acclaim. As well, Telltale began a number of publishing deals, helping to publish certain entries of The Jackbox Party Pack and 7 Days to Die, alongside releasing a port of Minecraft: Story Mode for the Netflix streaming service.
In 2017, following internal issues resulting from Telltale's proprietary engine and quick turnaround of titles, 25% of Telltale's staff were laid off during an internal restructuring. Later, on September 21, 2018, it was announced that almost all of Telltale's employees had been laid off in preparation of Telltale's closure, with employees at the time stating that no warning or severance pay had been given in the layoffs. The only remaining employees were a 25-person "skeleton crew" stated to be working on the company's liquidation process as well as finishing Minecraft: Story Mode's Netflix release. The company officially shuttered in October 2018.
Following Telltale's 2018 closure, Telltale's former employees and properties were divided between a number of companies. Skybound Entertainment, rights holders for The Walking Dead, obtained files and licenses related to Telltale's The Walking Dead games, including hiring a number of former Telltale employees to finish The Walking Dead: The Final Season. A number of former Telltale employees, including co-founder Dan Connors, formed Skunkape Games, a studio dedicated to the Sam & Max series, including remasters of Telltale's Sam & Max trilogy.
In August 2019, the Telltale brand, alongside an unknown amount of Telltale's remaining holdings, were acquired by LCG Entertainment. Using the Telltale Games brand, LCG relisted a number of previous Telltale titles on digital storefronts, alongside announcing the continued development of The Wolf Among Us 2.
Notable Franchise Involvement
Aside from their directly licensed titles, Telltale also included a number of licensed characters in the Poker Night series, including stars from previous Telltale titles, alongside characters such as Portal's GLaDOS, Evil Dead's Ash Williams, and Venture Bros.' Brock Samson, as well as featuring unlockable cosmetics in Team Fortress 2 and Borderlands.