The Walking Dead has officially joined the ranks of franchises that are getting the VR gaming treatment. In the last decade of TV – and continuing seemingly into the foreseeable future – the apocalypse has proven to be a popular topic for series to exploit, whether they be dramatic or comedic. Standing tall at the top of that heap of TV shows focusing on the end of the world is AMC’s The Walking Dead, the highest-rated series on either broadcast or cable among the advertiser-prized 18-49 demographic.
Unsurprisingly, The Walking Dead has found itself translated to the video game realm a few times now, as the zombie apocalypse setting has long been a go-to premise for survival horror games such as the Resident Evil series. The most successful gaming venture for TWD so far has probably been the series of adventure games produced by Telltale, although those games have been based on the comics, and not the TV series directly. An FPS game – The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct – starring Daryl and Merle Dixon was also released for consoles, although it was widely panned by critics.
One area of interactive entertainment that The Walking Dead has yet to invade is virtual reality gaming, but that’s all about to change. Skybound Entertainment – the company co-founded by TWD creator Robert Kirkman – has announced that it is teaming up with Skydance Interactive to develop multiple VR games based on the franchise. The announcement was made today during the annual E3 expo, with the first TWD VR title expected to be released sometime in 2018.
Unlike the Telltale series, these TWD VR games will be set in the world of the TV show, but center on new characters in a new setting. This makes sense, as trying to incorporate the already established characters into the games would quite limit the storytelling possibilities, assuming continuity with the show was a factor. However, for those who complain about the show focusing on the interactions between the human characters instead of constant zombie battles, don’t expect that to change much in the virtual setting. The flesh-eating dead will be very present, but like with the show, will be more of a force of nature that occasionally comes to the forefront than the main antagonists.
For now, it’s unclear exactly which platforms The Walking Dead’s VR games will launch on, but Skydance says that the plan is to bring them to “all of the existing high-end systems.” One assumes this means things like PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift. The Walking Dead season 8 premieres on AMC this fall, but it sounds like by the end of next year, fans may be able to star in a virtual “season” all their own.
Source: Skybound Entertainment/Skydance Interactive