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Former CEO and co-founder sues Telltale Games

Former CEO and co-founder sues Telltale Games

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Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Spike

More than a year after his expulsion as the CEO of Telltale Games, co-founder and former CEO Kevin Bruner is suing the game development company, according to the Marin Independent Journal. The suit, seeking recovery of financial damages, has been described by Telltale as “meritless” and “an apparent means of extracting revenge on a company already under financial strain.” Rather than owing Bruner money, the lawsuit is comprised of “baseless and careless accusations of petty revenge,” says Telltale.

Telltale is best known for its resurrection of episodic adventure games. Its work has included the critically acclaimed take on The Walking Dead, as well as original stories based on HBO’s Game of Thrones and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Although the court filings have been redacted to ensure “confidentiality and financial privacy,” Bruner alleges that the company was obligated by contract to give informational support as he prepared to sell his holdings in common and preferred stock. He also says that the company cut off communications just as he was preparing to sell those holdings. According to the lawsuit, “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.”

Bruner — who took over as CEO in 2015 — has been widely recognized as a controversial figure. The Verge previously spoke to several sources with direct knowledge of the company’s inner workings, and how it was plagued under Bruner’s leadership by constant crunch, toxic management practices, and a culture of fear and stagnation that he cultivated.

According to Telltale, the company “is now working to turn around the decline that it experienced under Plaintiff’s stewardship.” A Telltale representative told The Verge that the company has “no comments to share at this time, as this is an ongoing legal matter.”

Judge Roy Chernus “has rejected an initial attempt by Telltale to defeat the lawsuit outright, ruling there are issues that appear to deserve further examination,” the Marin Independent Journal reports. A case management conference has been set for July 17.