That last game has proven to be a big source of trouble for the studio-publisher, as The Walking Dead has done a very poor job in the sales department, perhaps because people are getting sick of the show that spawned it and the drama that surrounds the only noteworthy Walking Dead game from the now-defunct Telltale. Whatever the reason, these lackluster sales were so bad it’s gotten to the point where Starbreeze has actually had to file for reconstruction.
“The decision is based on a shortage of liquidity and deemed to be a necessary step to give the Company the time needed to negotiate a long-term financial solution and implement changes in the organisation and operations. The financial targets for Q4 2018 and 2020 no longer applies.”
What is “reconstruction”? Basically, it means the studio gets a short window where it doesn’t have to pay back any of the debt it owes. This time is designed to be spent restructuring your business and figuring your crap out, but it can theoretically be spent doing anything. What matters is, during this time, employees will continue to get paid and will continue to enjoy full benefits… at least, until the layoffs hit.
Speaking of, so far we know of one pretty big one: the CEO himself. Bo Andersson has resigned following the announcement of the reconstruction (along with one other board member). Starbreeze had this to say about the resignation:
“In this phase, Starbreeze needs a different kind of leadership and we have therefore decided to ask Mikael Nermark to take on the full responsibility with our full mandate for this new phase,”
All-in-all, I think I can safely say this news is more than a little surprising. Granted, I don’t spend much time thinking of Starbreeze, but they always seemed pretty well off when they did show up in the news… well, hopefully, they figure their stuff out. We’ve lost enough studios in 2018 as it is.