Last month, we brought you the news that the console versions of Overkill’s The Walking Dead had been postponed indefinitely following the mass failure of the PC version of the game that launched last November, and the subsequent internal problems that it had caused for developer Starbreeze Studios, who undertook a company reconstruction which resulted in the firing of then CEO, Bo Andersson, as they tried to save themselves from bankruptcy.
In that article, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised if the console versions of Overkill’s The Walking Dead never saw the light of day. Well, I hate to say I told you so, but Skybound Entertainment—the production company that is owned by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and who own the rights to the franchise—has pulled the plug.
In a statement announcing the news on their website, Skybound said:
“As of today, we have terminated our contract with Starbreeze Studios and will discontinue all efforts on OVERKILL’S THE WALKING DEAD. 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. 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. 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.”
I’m sure this will come as a disappointment to some console players who were still wanting to get their hands on the game, but to be honest, such is the state of it that you aren’t missing much. The main issue that this news throws up is for PC players who purchased the Deluxe version of the game, which promised nine episodes of Season 2 content between launch and June 2019. Three episodes of that content have already been released, but that still leaves six unreleased episodes that people have paid for up front.
Reacting to the news, while acknowledging that Overkill’s The Walking Dead will be removed from Steam “within a near future”, Starbreeze said that they are trying to resolve the issue with Skybound to find an “amicable solution”, to try and “finish and deliver season 2 of the game, as previously communicated”. Speaking on the matter, Starbreeze acting CEO, Mikael Nermark, said:
“We are deeply sorry for the issues this may cause anyone who has bought the game looking forward to the resolution of Season 2 and are working urgently to attempt to resolve the issue. Please keep an eye on the official OTWD channels for further news,”
Whether those remaining episodes of the game will ever be released remains to be seen, but if they aren’t then PC players who have pre-purchased can surely expect to receive partial refunds, while console players who have pre-purchased the game can also expect full refunds.
Unfortunately, the writing has been on the wall for Overkill’s The Walking Dead ever since its disastrous PC launch, and you worry that the writing could well be on the wall for Starbreeze Studios too, who are reportedly around £34 million in debt.