After the great success of Undead Labs zombie adventure XBLA game State of Decay it’s obvious that the Undead Labs teams is ready to begin work on their masterpiece Class 4. When Undead Labs was formed, the plan was to create a proof of concept game “Class 3″ (State of Decay), this would be a stripped down adventure game that would allow them to create a world and game systems to later roll into “Class 4″ a full-fledged MMO. The launch of State of Decay would be the deciding factor if Undead Labs went ahead with the MMO. Not only would this prove that gamers want a Zombie MMO but the profits from State of Decay would be the funding foundation of the MMO.
As we all know SOD so far has sold 525,000 units and it still hasn’t even hit the PC yet. It’s obvious gamers are loving the game and more and more are purchasing the game. Sanya Weathers, SOD director of community recently sat down with Eurogamer to talk about the future and it seems that the team wants to go ahead with the MMO project but due to the deal that they made with Microsoft for SOD they need to wait on the powers that be at Microsoft to give them the greenlight.
“We cannot begin working on Class4 without a greenlight from Microsoft (who owns the IP, as part of the bargain that led to the funding and development of State of Decay) and a mutually agreeable contract,” Sanya Weathers, director of community, explained to me.
“We have to agree on where we think the technology is going to be in a few years (since the game will take a few years to develop); we have to agree that we have the same goals; and we have to agree on how we’ll collectively run and support the final game.
“Those discussions are still in progress.”
More than likely those discussions are revolving around what level of Xbox Live subscribers will be able to play the MMO. When I sat down with the folks at Wargaming.net at E3 they mentioned that they had long talks with Microsoft about bringing World of Tanks to the console. Wargaming wanted the game available to play online to all Xbox gamers, Silver or Gold. But due to the structure of Xbox Live and the subscription system Microsoft stood firm on only allowing Gold Members access to World of Tanks.
State of Decay has been a blast to play and it really does scream MMO. Let’s hope those at Microsoft don’t ruin an amazing MMO experience. Understandably Microsoft has a lot of commotion going on trying to launch a new console that will pave the way for the next 5-10 years, but in a time where exclusives matters more than usual right now, getting this contract figured out so this game can get made faster, should be a priority.