Good news for MS.
State of Decay Dev Signs Multi-Year Extension With Microsoft
Undead Labs will develop multiple games as part of a new Microsoft Studios deal.
by Chris Pereira JANUARY 10, 2014
Undead Labs, developer of State of Decay, announced today that it has signed a "multi-year, multi-title" extension with Microsoft Studios to continue its relationship with the publisher.
"We'll be able to share details later this year, but as with State of Decay, we think it's best if we just keep our heads down and build some prototypes before we talk too much," founder Jeff Strain said of the new deal on Undead's blog. "For now, suffice it to say there are big things going on with State of Decay."
State of Decay launched on Xbox Live Arcade last June and, despite some nagging technical issues, proved to be an incredibly entertaining open-world zombie game. It earned an 8.9 in IGN's review and, with the help of the PC version launched in September, it surpassed the one-million-units-sold mark by October.
It was clear very quickly that Undead had a major hit on its hands, making its future plans all the more interesting. Long before Undead signed a publishing deal with Microsoft for State of Decay in 2011 -- when it was known as Class3 -- or it was formally announced in 2012, Undead revealed it was working on a zombie MMO for consoles known as Class4.
That announcement came way back in 2009 and little has been said about it since. Last summer, Undead community manager Sanya Weathers told Eurogamer work on Class4 wouldn't begin until it was given the go-ahead by Microsoft, which owns the IP.
"We have to agree on where we think the technology is going to be in a few years (since the game will take a few years to develop); we have to agree that we have the same goals; and we have to agree on how we'll collectively run and support the final game," Weathers said. "Those discussions are still in progress."
Regardless of these agreements, work on Class4 may not have begun in earnest immediately after State of Decay was released anyway due to Undead continuing to work on patches, downloadable content, and the PC version.
Multiplayer support was at one point potentially going to be included in State of Decay. Undead planned to deliver a co-op mode by way of an update for the game, but those plans were ultimately scrapped. Strain has since stated, "I can say definitively that co-op multiplayer will be the absolute heart of any future State of Decay games."
With this new Microsoft deal in place, it seems possible that a follow-up to State of Decay or perhaps even Class4 is now in the works for Xbox One, but it doesn't sound as if we'll be getting any confirmation about whether that is the case until at least later this year.
"[M]ost of all, thanks to all of you for your ongoing support, encouragement, and enthusiasm for State of Decay," Strain concluded in his announcement blog. "We know how far we'd have gotten if it hadn't been for your spreading the word, and it definitely wouldn't be here. You made this happen. It's been a long haul from the original vision to this point, and the road ahead of us will take years to travel. We hope you're up for the trip, because we can't do it without you."