Five months after its PC release, and just a week after developer Starbreeze insisted the game wasn’t cancelled, merely postponed, Overkill’s The Walking Dead has been canned completely on all platforms.
This means that the game will no longer release on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 as planned, but support for the PC version is also wrapping up, which you could describe with a little hyperbole as that version of the game also facing its own cancellation.
Sadly, this isn’t much of a surprise. Overkill’s The Walking Dead has been plagued with its own issues: first emerging onto the scene in 2014 to tie in with AMC’s hit TV show, it was originally planned to launch in 2016.
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Then, in January 2016, it was delayed for a year. In 2017 it was delayed for another year. In 2018, during the PC Gaming Show at E3 in June, it promised a November release for all platforms. Two months later in August, the Xbox One and PS4 versions were delayed by six months. The game’s PC version launched on Steam in November, and the general consensus was that it was terrible.
Fast forward to January 2019, and the Xbox One and PS4 editions of the game were delayed again, this time indefinitely. Meanwhile, True Achievements were reporting emails from the PlayStation store sent to pre-ordering customers, which suggested the game would be cancelled, which the publishers denied.
A mess, indeed.
Against this background, Overkill’s parent company Starbreeze has been publicly imploding: in December the Stockholm-based studio filed for bankruptcy protection in its native Sweden, as their CEO resigned. Days later, a police raid on suspicion of insider trading led to an arrest at the company.
All in all, it’s a perfect storm to keep a live game running through, and it seems current license holders Skybound Entertainment, the current IP holders, have run out of patience.
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In a statement issued on Wednesday, Skybound say: “We did our best to work with Starbreeze and resolve many issues that we saw with the game,” the statement reads, “but ultimately Overkill’s The Walking Dead did not meet our standards nor is it the quality that we were promised.” and has announced that it has terminated its contract with Starbreeze.
Skybound Entertainment, who own The Walking Dead IP, issued a statement today that says that it is terminating its contract with Starbreeze and stopping work on Overkill’s The Walking Dead. “We did our best to work with Starbreeze and resolve many issues that we saw with the game,” the statement reads, “but ultimately Overkill’s The Walking Dead did not meet our standards nor is it the quality that we were promised.”
Between the critical panning the game received (54 percent on OpenCritic), reportedly poor sales and the fact that there was an average player count of 328 players over the last 30 days, it seems unlikely that anything will appear last minute to save the game.
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