Following an exciting E3 last week, we’ve been thrilled with fan response to a number of games that we unveiled. This morning, Microsoft Studios and Undead Labs shared some exciting news on the success of “State of Decay,” an innovative zombie survival game offering a unique blend of open world action, strategy and roleplaying. In the week following its June 5 release, “State of Decay” has surpassed half a million paid downloads.
This milestone continues the record-breaking success of the game, making it the fastest selling original game ever on Xbox Live Arcade.
You can download the free trial or purchase “State of Decay” for 1600 MSP from the Xbox Live Marketplace today.
Seattle-based developer Undead Labs has been hard at work since the original release — with the first Title Update rolling out to fans around the world over the weekend. The studio is already putting the final touches on the second Title Update, which should delight “State of Decay” fans. Undead Labs interacts directly with the game’s fan community via Twitter and Facebook, as well as the official “State of Decay” forums at forums.undeadlabs.com, and the content of Title Updates is determined based directly on player feedback.
With this exciting milestone we wanted to know more about the developers behind “State of Decay,” so we recently sat down with Jeff Strain, founder and executive producer at the studio, to talk about the milestone and find out what’s next for “State of Decay.”
So half a million paid downloads in a week. Were you guys expecting this?
We didn’t know what to expect. “State of Decay” breaks a lot of rules. Permadeath, switching characters, having to manage the “feelings” of your fellow survivors, offline progression — these are all things developers traditionally avoid, but we felt were essential to creating a true survival experience. We’re thrilled and humbled that gamers are embracing the game. Record breaking sales are great, but the thing we’re proudest of is that people who bought the game are having a great time playing it. That’s why we do what we do, and what keeps us going back in to do it again.
We’re passionate fans of the zombie genre. There are some fantastic zombie games out there, but we felt the true essence of the genre hadn’t been captured yet. The zombie genre isn’t about zombies as much as it’s about surviving the zombies. The greatest zombie movies are all about the choices people make when the safety and familiarity of the modern world is gone. These movies aren’t about ass-kicking action heroes mowing down zombies; they’re about people like you and me, thrown into a world where every decision is life-or-death, trying to figure out whether altruism and our personal survival instincts can coexist. We wanted to make a game that captured the heart of the genre — a game about choices and consequences.
What’s next for “State of Decay?”
We’re currently working on a PC version for release on Steam. Fortunately it’s been in development alongside the Xbox 360 version since Day 1, so we just need to integrate with the Steam platform and add native support for keyboard and mouse control. We’ll also continue to issue Title Updates at a fast pace to refine game balance and fix bugs.
Beyond that, we’re laying plans for the future of “State of Decay” right now. There’s an incredibly sophisticated simulation engine driving the world of “State of Decay” — we call it FateEngine — and it gives us a platform to do much more with the game. For a start, I can tell you we’re working on a sandbox mode designed to be a pure survival simulation. Beyond that, all I can say is we pay very close attention to what fans of the game are asking for, and their needs will largely guide our development priorities, so stay tuned.
For more on “State of Decay,” go to undeadlabs.com.