Telltale Games Sued by Ousted Former CEO Kevin Bruner

Telltale Games vs Former CEO

Kevin Bruner, former CEO of Telltale Games has filed a breach-of-contract complaint against the studio. Telltale Games of course, is notable for their The Walking Dead and Minecraft: Story Mode series of adventures games. Bruner is actually one of the company’s co-founders along with Dan Connors and Troy Molander.  All three were former LucasArts employees, with Connors taking on the CEO position until stepping down in 2014. Bruner served as CEO until he stepped down 2017, although he remained on the board after that.

Telltale hired Zynga and EA veteran Pete Hawley as CEO back in September. Shortly after, Bruner is removed from the board of directors. He alleges that this is without enough stock to cast legitimate votes. Bruner claims that there is a contractual obligation for Telltale Games to provide him with informational support as he prepared to sell his holdings in common and preferred stock. However, Telltale severed communications just before they brought on Hawley.

The lawsuit claims that “The net effect of Bruner’s alleged removal from the board of directors was that Bruner was deprived of relevant insight into the management and financial state of Telltale and the value of its shares,” (via Marin County Journal).

What Does This Mean for the Future of Telltale Games?

Lawyers working for Telltale Games calls the lawsuit “meritless”. Furthermore, they dismiss it “as an apparent means of extracting revenge on a company already under financial strain”.

“The Company is now working to turn around the decline that it experienced under Plaintiff’s stewardship,” Telltale’s filing said.

The judge has rejected an initial attempt by Telltale to defeat the lawsuit outright. Ruling that further examination is necessary. A case management conference is on schedule for July 17.

Bruner’s tenure as CEO has been described as “toxic” and “chaotic“, eventually leading to layoffs and staff cutbacks as Bruner steps down.

Ron Perillo

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