Undead Labs Cancels ‘State of Decay’ Multiplayer Plans

Published 1 year ago by

State of Decay Multiplayer Cancelled Co Op

Set around the travails of a community of survivors and concerned more with the subtleties of zombie-apocalypse survival — stealth, evasion, scavenging for resources, diversions, traversing through a gigantic large open world with the aim of establishing a solid base camp — State of Decay would seem to lend itself well to the multiplayer format, despite initially launching as a solo experience in June over Xbox Live Arcade.

Developer Undead Labs intimated as much last month, expressing plans to instate State of Decay with a co-op mode through the release of DLC. Recently, however — after conversations on Twitter between Undead’s Sanya Weathers and a trio of inquisitive fans suggested that the mode’s inclusion was unlikely — Undead has confirmed that co-op will not, in fact, be headed to the Cry Engine 3-built thriller.

And its reasoning makes perfect sense.

State of Decay No Multiplayer Co Op

Explaining the no-go decision on the Undead forums, “Undead Jeff,” a developer working on State of Decay, says that implementing multiplayer would have taken his team nine whole months — delaying the game’s release by six. He also claims that Undead has been “thoroughly evaluating the possibility of adding co-op multiplayer,” only to conclude that it would never live up to fans’ standards of quality.

“We could ‘check the box’ and shoehorn multiplayer in sooner than that, but it wouldn’t be a great experience, and certainly not one we’d be proud of.

“…it’s easy to imagine how [the  multiplayer development process] would come together – as many have said, the game is practically begging for it – but retrofitting the game to add that experience would take the rest of this year, and well into the next. Worse, it would preclude our ability to offer any other kind of support for the game, including Title Updates and DLC.”

But Undead’s problem isn’t one of desire or skill; just time and resources. Undead Jeff promises that the studio’s ambitions regarding multiplayer in future State of Decay installments remain unchanged:

“That said, I can say definitively that multiplayer will be the absolute heart of any future State of Decay games. As many of you know, we’ve always had ambitious plans for the future of State of Decay, and those plans have not changed.”

Having awarded the game 4 out of 5 stars when it released last month, it’s nice to see that Undead Labs has chosen to… preserve State of Decay’s original product rather than neglecting fans already enamored with the single-player campaign. There’s no allowance for dead weight in a zombie apocalypse. And State of Decay appears to have survived the unnecessary-multiplayer pitfall that many games — Tomb Raider comes mind in 2013 — and their respective developers all too frequently find themselves consumed by.

Here’s hoping the multiplayer components of future State of Decay titles prove well worth the wait.

Ranters, what do you think of the way Undead Labs is handling — and for the short term tempering — its multiplayer ambitions for State of Decay?

Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Undead Labs Forums [via Joystiq], Undead Labs Twitter [via VG 24/7]


TAGS: Microsoft Game Studios, State of Decay, Undead Labs, Xbox 360, Xbox Live

  • fanofgames

    Hmmm well considering we wait long periods of time for game companys to finish up their games anyways, i dont see the problem here lol. Why is it such a big deal for its release date to be pushed back? I would of gladly waited to play co-op in this game. As im sure most everyone else would of to. This is a perfect example of a game being rushed and not completed.

    • AZgamer

      Wrong. The game was fully complete at the time. They cannot add multiplayer because then they would have to do a trade off with future DLC, title updates, etc. As well, multiplayer would have taken a long time to finish, and would have required a rewrite of core game engine parts. It’s in our best interest as players that they DON’T add MP, because then we can have more to do in the world and extend the hours of gameplay.

      • fanofgames

        Wrong, for the sole fact that they rushed the game, is why they would of had to remove single player additions for multiplayer. If they would have taken their time, multiplayer could of been a great addition, aswell as any other dlc they might have planned.

        • BumblingZombie

          I have to agree here. They could have put multiplayer in easily. I think it is a matter of money. They needed the game to get out to fund themselves. It is why they have come out with “early access”. The game is great, but my wife and I game together, and I would have loved to game together in this game. There are multiplayer options in other zombie games, and the idea of having two people running around the map would not have been hard. That way I can even get rid of some of the game’s drawbacks, like how having to go back and forth for multiple packs would have been easier with multiple people, and no having to call for someone and spend karma and hope they didnt die or need a rescuing. It seems like playing with the AI is more of an escort mission than them being self sufficient.

          ….and AZgamer, the game is NOT DONE. Thats why its Early Access in a lot of ways. They are still working on it. Its mostly done and may be playable on XBOX, but its still being worked on. There are many things they are missing. Its one of the best zombie survival games I have played, but it still is not the epitome of them.

      • Tom

        To be honest for this game to have any life, it needs co-operative play. To say they would have rewrite code, why didn’t they plan co-operative play to begin with. While it’s an enjoyable game and I’m thoroughly enjoying the 8-10 hours I’ve already played, I’m constantly thinking, i want my friends with me, i want to do this with other people, not faceless AI buddies.. another 10 hours and I’ll be waiting for them to “shoehorn” it in. I’m literally not playing Zomboid because it hasn’t got multiplayer and i’m patiently waiting for it.

  • Anksik

    And just like that any interest I had in purchasing it is now gone. I suppose I’ll spend that 20 on some DLC for Killing Floor.

  • dan

    personally i think its good. i’ve never put much stock in online multiplayer, even if it is fun sometimes. Give me a fantastic single player experience and i’ll be happy. I just hope the developer remembers that in the franchise’s future. No amount of multiplayer is a substitute for a fantastic solo experience.

    • Anksik

      I’d like some coop so I would have something to do after the solo thing. Was a little bummed with infinite not being longer.

    • AZgamer

      The franchise’s future consists of an MMO version of the game. State of Decay was essentially just Undead Labs doing some prototyping for the REAL zombie apocalypse SIM. So you can expect a LOT of stuff to do with friends in the future. And Only on Xbox One (UNLESS they follow in SoD’s footsteps and releases on Steam as well).

  • eliotfez

    multiplayer would be dumb, they could have added splitscreen or just online co-op then this game would get six out of five stars

  • Robert

    Hmm, smells like microsft money grab

  • Gerry R. Giordano

    It definitely has something to do with the fact that Undead Labs has only 23 developers or perhaps they are saving the co-op feature for the sequel.

    Co-op would have been great but I’m cool with single player.

    And btw, although the missions are repetitive, I recommend this walkthrough: http://www.cheatmasters.com/blog/2013/06/21/state-of-decay-walkthrough-guide/

  • Blake

    Well, this is extremely disappointing to find out. I bought the game strictly for multiplayer and now this.. I’m not hating on undead labs or anything I just wish that instead of game company’s promising something just to find out they can’t do it, they would instead wait until they are positive. Until they are already close to midway through the development for said project so they KNEW it would be released. Granted they were able to take a fantastic game theme AND concept and release it for a mere 20 dollars. But, that 20 dollars was spent with the intention spending another 10 or 15 dollars for the SIGNIFICANT part of the game, the MAIN reason anyone would buy a game of this style… MULTIPLAYER. Just like how game company’s will make a game strictly an online game, then just take the servers down. I’m sorry that you put too much money into the development of a game and you took a loss, but that doesn’t take away the fact that even though you didn’t get 3 million sales there are still the hundreds of thousands of people who waste their money basically renting a game. since you can’t really do much if the main game mode is online and now you have to play by yourself all of a sudden if you’re even able to do that. (For example lord of the rings conquest) I mean it’s not like when you buy a vehicle they are like “oh well we’ll give you the car now, it runs but it has no breaks right now. But don’t worry we will give you the breaks later.” Just to later find out that specific cars breaks have quit being made and that’s that.

  • Stymestr

    I am for one very satisfied with the game. But agreeing with a lot of other players on this the multiplayer function would have made this game sell more. MMO is the new franchise… ppl want to experience great games with friends and make new friends. The main thing is there are a lot of tasks to be done on SoD and it is hard to accomplish all the tasks alone. having an AI member join you cost influence and to get it you have to go on scavenging runs….. not always easy alone. Multiplayer is a must in this game. If it is not implemented in later DLC i for one would be highly upset. thanks for the edge of my seat action though. I still play often… good game Undead Labs. But if you want that dough rolling in…hurry with the MMO.

  • Asashii

    gets boring real quick, no Multiplayer, its like playing dead island alone, gets old fast = NO SALE!