We know that things haven’t been the greatest for Starbreeze Studios’ Overkill’s The Walking Dead. Then again, things haven’t been great for Starbreeze, either. And in a feature over at Eurogamer, some of the devs have said that the game’s problems were known even before release.
According to one of the devs interviewed for the article, the team knew that The Walking Dead was “going to tank”. “No matter how much you polish a turd, it’s still a turd. It was never going to get any better than where it was. It was always hacked.”
Overkill’s The Walking Dead was originally announced back in 2015, and was scheduled for release in 2016, but was delayed multiple times. The game was going to make use of a new in-house engine called Valhalla. But according to report, the engine was “near unusable”, and was essentially a glorified renderer. “There wasn’t even a file open button when we got it,” according to one dev. “It was impossible to use.”
From there, the team ended up moving the project to Unreal Engine 4, but this obviously caused delays. Rather than push the release beyond 2018, the designers had to churn the game out in eighteen months, using an engine that only “10%” of the design team had knowledge of, and the result was “a beta game” that was made in a year and a half.
Complicating matters was Starbreeze’s CEO Bo Andersson going on an expansion spree, investing in Dead By Daylight, the System Shock remake, as well as Overkill’s The Walking Dead – The VR Experience, which is still scheduled for release this year.
It doesn’t take much to realize how due to the lackluster response to Overkill’s The Walking Dead, and with how much was riding on the game to be a moneymaker, coupled with reckless business decisions, Starbreeze has wound up in the mess that it now finds itself.
The article goes into a bit more detail with the production problems, and is worth checking out. Overkill’s The Walking Dead is out now on Steam, with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases currently being delayed.