Great news for fans, not so much for Telltale employees still
It’s been a hard couple of weeks for Telltale fans. It has been harder on Telltale employees. On Friday the 21st of September, almost everyone turned up for another Friday – just business as usual. The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode 2 was due to ship the following week, everything was going as expected, but then the worst news possible was delivered.
Effective immediately, around 250 employees were told they no longer had a job. No explanation, no severance, just so long and (I hope) thanks.
The community answered strongly with support and job opportunities, but it doesn’t help lessen the blow to so many people. The skeleton staff that was remaining to complete Minecraft: Story Mode with Netflix about a week later.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season started being pulled from sale, and fans were left wondering what would become of a story that they were halfway through.
Yesterday, they were answered.
Now, selfishly I am glad this final chapter is being finished. Telltales Walking Dead not only got me interested in the series again but wove a tale that has me genuinely caring about what becomes of Clementine.
I also enjoy many of the other episodic Telltale adventures, and I was especially looking forward to Wolf Among Us 2. But I had also been bitten with buggy episode releases and an erratic release schedule, so I start buying Telltale games when they are complete and not before.
Given Telltale’s financial situation, I may not have been alone. This may have contributed to the fall of the software house, as if most of their sales were coming after a game has finished that is a lot of money the company continues to pay out.
While this is all great news for fans, it’s still not great for Telltale’s staff. They are looking for new work with only what they had at the time to support them. Some will be able to move into a new position quickly sure, but these sort of situations still take time to resolve so what do they live on?
And now this stops being about video games
And here is where I take a turn. This is a terrible situation, but how can something so basically and obviously wrong be allowed to happen in a country like the United States with no backlash?
It’s easy to forget that a fast food worker has more guaranteed job protection than software developers or many other industries in the United States. Think about that. Fast food workers – the people almost all of us make jokes about as an entry-level job.
This is largely due to union representation in the States, but how can there not be a federal minimum standard for all workers across the board?
There are good employers sure – but it’s up to the employers, and Telltale hasn’t done anything illegal. All it takes is a board change or a bad day, and an entire industry is suddenly worried about if they have a job tomorrow, and what protection they have if they don’t.
Similar to my thoughts and rants on the Australian Classification Board and their double standards as an example of where our government is going wrong, those of you reading this in the United States remember that your government is leading the way into making situations like this more widespread rather than protecting against it.
This isn’t intended as a party statement or a stab at US politics – it’s an overall observation of the current political system in many Western countries right now. Take this simple example of exploitation by a software company and how little your government cares about it. Now apply this logic to the things you really care about and see if it is treated with similar indifference.
Voting is a pain. Having to take time out and go to a polling station and fill out a form is annoying.
You know what’s more annoying? Having your rights taken from under you. Being told that you aren’t important enough, or your issues aren’t valid. Being treated as someone that is different not because you are unique and should be valued, but because one individual has the ability to make it law that entire groups of people are not equal.
Register to vote, and look at what your representatives are doing for you. If your representative is doing everything they can for you, vote to keep them in place. If they aren’t – vote to kick them out. While it’s true that sometimes you can vote in someone worse, you can also vote in people that are better.
Yes, not everyone will have everything they want – everyone is in the minority on something. But the more people that make their voices heard and demonstrate what the people actually want, the less the lifetime politicians can simply vote for what they want.
There are many governments in the world right now that need to be soundly reminded that they work for and represent all of the people in their countries – not just themselves. Sadly, Australia and the US are high on that list right now, but hopefully, this can change soon.
Until next time,