The Walking Dead Creators Ax Their Contract With Starbreeze

The Walking Dead Creators Ax Their Contract With Starbreeze

Overkill’s The Walking Dead was far from perfect. To be fair, it was more like somewhere in the middle between perfect and awful. Basically, it was a middling zombie shooter with more bugs than fresh ideas. That fact didn’t go unnoticed by Skybound Entertainment, which owns The Walking Dead license. Yesterday, Skybound ended its contract with Overkill developer Starbreeze Studios, claiming the game “did not meet [the company’s] standards.”

“Our creators and their stories are the core of Skybound, and since 2014 we have worked hard to expand the world of The Walking Dead into an exceptional co-op action FPS,” a Skybound representative told Variety. “We did our best to work with Starbreeze and resolve many issues that we saw with the game, but ultimately Overkill’s The Walking Dead did not meet our standards nor is it the quality that we were promised.

They continued, “We are exceedingly sorry to our fans and share their disappointment in the game. We remain dedicated to providing our fans with the most premium quality content we can offer, and will continue to look for alternative video game options for the IP.”

As a result of the lost contract, the company will soon pull Overkill’s The Walking Dead from the Steam Store. This was confirmed by Starbreeze in a statement posted to its website.

Overkill's The Walking Dead 6
The reception to Overkill’s The Walking Dead did not sit well with its license holder.

Dead Man Walking?

The situation with Starbreeze has been grim lately. Yes, sales for Overkill’s The Walking Dead may have hit around $3.5 million USD. However, according to a statement by Starbreeze, development costs “far exceeded revenue.” This news follows the company’s announcement late last year that it would be restructuring, possibly as an effort to avoid bankruptcy. Two of Starbreeze’s Board of Directors members also stepped down. With Skybound pulling its contract, it’s difficult to remain optimistic toward the studio’s fate.

Regardless, the company is still fighting to complete promises made to those who bought the game. In a statement, Starbreeze acting-CEO Mikael Nermark said the company is still trying to roll out the game’s Season 2 update.

“We are deeply sorry for the issues this may cause anyone who has bought the game looking forward to the resolution of Season 2,” Nermark said, “and [Starbreeze is] working urgently to attempt to resolve the issue.”

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