Skybound revoke Walking Dead license from Starbreeze, remove Overkill's Walking Dead from sale

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#1 Posted by Panfoot (329 posts) -

https://www.starbreeze.com/2019/02/overkills-the-walking-dead-expected-to-be-unavailable-for-purchase-on-steam-due-to-disagreement-with-licence-holder/

https://www.polygon.com/2019/2/27/18243105/overkill-the-walking-dead-cancelled-ps4-pc-xbox-one-starbreeze-skybound-contract

For those unaware, this game's development has had a wild ride to release and I highly recommend reading Eurogamer's interview with some anonymous Starbreeze devs about the game and company in generals fall (link to the interview). Otherwise the short version is...

- Game initially releases on PC early November after a closed beta that wasn't well received, doesn't really make a blip on the radar as it's released between 2 much better games (Read Dead Redemption 2 and Hitman 2) and 2 far move interesting bad games (The Quiet Man and Fallout 76).
- With the games poor sales and reception and precipitous position of the company, which filled for reconstruction days earlier, a 30 dollar "starter edition" version of the game is released on steam, which featured all of season 1(which was the content available at launch) but wouldn't included the yet to be released season 2 content(which was planned as 9 episodes, some free some paid to be released up through June of 2019)
- Late Jaunuary, the console versions of the game are delayed indefinitely ahead of the planned February release date
- As of this past couple of weeks, nothing much has changed, the game generally has 500-1000 players in game and so far 3 of the season 2 episodes have been released, with episode 1 being paid and 2 and 3 being free, and with a patch set to be released in just a few days...

Which brings us to now, with the game being delisted from steam(as in, the store page doesn't even exist anymore), and with the no indication if any future content/patches will be completed and released. As someone who actually bought and played through the game, do I feel like it was bad enough to be removed from sale? Not really. It's not a good game, it's buggy and lacking in a lot of areas(not to mention giving a terrible first impression with it's awful opening level), but if you come looking for a Ride to Hell: Retribution or a Big Rigs, you'd probably be disappointed. Still though, bad enough for Skybound to put a stop to it, though maybe at this point they are just over video games after the far worse Walking Dead: Survival Instinicts from years ago and the recent Telltale debacle.

If your really, really desperately curious to get the game, you can probably find keys at just about any key retailer, I got mine nearly a month after release for half the price and that one turned out to be an unsold pre-order key (which if that isn't writing on the wall I don't know what is...), though I wouldn't recommend it since trying to play solo is a complete slog and the community is barely there as is.

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#2 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4317 posts) -

I know it's easy to go full captain hindsight and act like you're smarter than the people involved, but i do question why a company would go all-in on an completely unproven engine like Valhalla. They acquired it for $8.6 million USD in 2015, so i get the intent of trying to get use out of it, but as far as i'm aware there's no game out there that runs on it. Like one dev in the eurogamer article mentions that it didn't even have an 'open file' menu option. If you're out there jetsetting around to blow money on VR opportunities & publishing deals, while your upcoming game is not coming together at all and the employees are not able to work with the tech, how do you let that situation exist for so long that eventually the existance of the company is at stake?

On top of that, only 10% of the employees knew how to work with the Unreal Engine, leading to a situation where most employees had to learn the tools while trying to create the game simulataneously. They had to rebuild the entire game from scratch within a year after clowning around with the inhouse Valhalla engine for 2 years.

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#3 Posted by Panfoot (329 posts) -

@onemanarmyy: Between all the engine troubles, going in on a VR headset, and the development/release of Raid: World War 2, i think they definitely established a pattern of some poor decision making at the higher up levels. For a company that was mostly getting by on the success of Payday 2, that is a series of big and risky moves with absolutely none of them paying off. I'm incredibly curious to see what they plan to do now, do they try and rush out Payday 3 just to try to survive? Do they keep selling off what they can to survive(like the publishing rights to System Shock 3 they just sold back) and how long will that last? I feel like we are within a year from Starbreeze completely ceasing to exist and THQ Nordic picking up the rights to Payday.

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#4 Edited by soulcake (2753 posts) -

Worst thing i bought in 2018 at full price, the game is way to hard if your playing with pugs, you make a shooter where there's a incentive not to shoot, progression suck if you can't even beat a level waste of my time and money and one of the few games that got my blood boiling in 2018 the times i alt f4 out of it is something else. And this comes from a person who liked payday2.

Let's hope GTFO is the game i am looking for.

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#5 Posted by nnickers (496 posts) -

Is anyone left at Starbreeze from the Riddick days? Because those games were damn fine.

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