The MOP Up: Diablo III kicks off its 15th season, Telltale Games is slammed with layoffs

    
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You’re already late to the party, what with Diablo III kicking off its 15th season this past Friday! No worries, you can still catch up on all of the fun and start earning yourself some bonus goodies. The special twist this time around involves bounties spitting out twice as many Horadric Caches as normal. Blizzard is rotating seasonal conquests with this one, challenging players to speed race through the game, collect 50 million gold, or destroy all bosses within a time limit. The 15th season is live on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and will run until December 16th. More or less.

Read on for a roundup of other smaller MMO news stories and videos from this past week in this edition of The MOP Up!

New Games and Testing

Patches

Events

Odds and Ends

  • Professionals from Hearthstone and League of Legends call for more women to be involved in the esports industry.
  • League of Legends landed a big sponsor for its esports: Mastercard!
  • Warface: This “tactical team-based shooter” is now out for free on the PlayStation 4. Note, this is Warface, not Warframe. Because I know this MOP writer who keeps confusing the two.

Videos

Jagex went in-depth on RuneScape’s OST.

Go on a Conan Exiles excursion through the Midnight Grove with the developers:

Studio closure

Finally, and this isn’t really MMO-related, but multiplayer-related: We’re sad to report that Telltale Games is closing down, laying off (according to some reports) 250 people without severance.

Our hearts go out to the rank-and-file devs who will suffer the most from all this, as well as for the fans and folks unlikely to ever see a return on their season purchases.

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Mewmew
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Mewmew

“We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. ”

What the… I thought the games sold well? I guess I never look at the figures, but I bought them, they were highly rated and reviewed, I thought others were buying them up – they really had sales numbers that low?

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Sashaa

The first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is one of the best videogames I’ve played these last ten years. I can’t say the same for the following episodes, but The Wolf Among Us and even the last Batman were quite good. Disheartening news, on many levels…

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Cypher

How can they be laid off and not get redundancy pay? Doesn’t the law demand they get it?

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Jack Pipsam

Capcom Vancouver also closed which is really sad :'(

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Denice J. Cook

Wow, crud! That sucks! They seemed so popular and had such high-quality output, too. Jeez, you can’t trust any company these days.

Those poor devs. I feel horribly for them, and hope they all land on their feet soon with other companies.

*sad panda face*

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Witches

When i heard John Riccitello had joined Telltale i kinda expected things to go sour.

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Greaterdivinity

He’s on the Board of Directors he’s not really a part of the company in any meaningful day to day way, he’s the CEO of Unity. And as shitty as EA was/is, they did financially well under him and Unity seems to be doing well too. He joined the board 2 years ago, and was one of many on the board.

This seems more like just poor management from the actual leadership at Telltale, sadly. They expanded too quickly and it came back to bite them in the ass, which sucks for all the employees that busted ass for years working in what sound like pretty awful conditions (never ending crunch).

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Armsbend

I thought Telltale was a fairly successful company. They certainly had great licenses.

Dantos
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Dantos

Been some rumors of mismanagement since TWD1, and with the licensing costs, no game other than the first walking dead made money. A case of the ’00s growing too big too fast.

From the tweets of some employees ive seen, they had about 30mins notice and no severance. Sounds like whatever financial backers they had pulled their money out.

Xijit
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Xijit

Someone is getting sued: California don’t like it none when you don’t pay severance.

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Sally Bowls

The ultimate defense to legal lawsuits is to be broke. I am sure a number of entities would like to sue them; but if there is no money to recover, I question whether it would be worth the expense.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

Seems like this. I’d heard complaints about the company and management for ages, but the games they made were mostly above average, especially in the past few years. That being said, aside from The Walking Dead, I’m surprised they weren’t making money, as I know The Wolf Among Us did VERY well critically, as did Tales from Borderlands and their Batman games, with the latter being arguably better than some of the other recent DC live-action films.

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Witches

They were, but they took on more work than they could effectively deliver, rumours say they had twice the staff to do 4x more work.