Left 4 Dead developer Turtle Rock Studios announced earlier today that it was working on a brand new zombie co-op shooter called Back 4 Blood. The new game will be developed out of a partnership between Turtle Rock Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
Turtle Rock Studios is most famous for innovating co-op shooter gameplay with the Left 4 Dead games, which were wildly successful on Valve's Steam platform. To many, Left 4 Dead laid the groundwork for what a successful zombie mode should look like, and the series' fingerprints can be found all over future iterations of survival horror cooperatives, even if they don't necessarily involve the walking dead. With Steam looking less and less alluring as of late, it makes sense for Turtle Rock Studios to explore a new partnership.
Back 4 Blood will be Turtle Rock Studios first effort since Evolve, a game that featured a lot of promise before a mess after launch hampered its ability to grow. Back 4 Blood is being described by the developer as a designed from the ground-up effort to create an original, premium title. It will also apparently tie the best elements of co-op zombie play with "state-of-the-art technology," a claim that's not hard to imagine as true given the partnership with such a large publisher. David Haddad, the President of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, discussed what the partnership means to the publisher:
"We are thrilled to partner with the proven Turtle Rock Studios team on Back 4 Blood to advance the co-op zombie genre forward with innovative multiplayer gameplay. The talented team at Turtle Rock has been developing amazing games together for a long time, and this is a great opportunity to work with them to create a new gaming universe built specifically with the large co-op zombie shooter community in mind."
There aren't many details on the actual gameplay that we can expect from Back 4 Blood, although given that it will be a first-person co-op zombie game, there's at least a baseline of what to expect. Left 4 Dead was great at creating situations where teamwork was key to a party's survival, and we'd expect more of the same from a developer as experienced as Turtle Rock Studios. It will likely be online, given the nature of its spiritual predecessors and the fact that it's 2019 and every multiplayer game should be online at this point.
The most interesting thing is the notion that the team will be building a new "gaming universe," which seems to imply there will be a concerted effort to turn Back 4 Blood into multiple titles. Regardless, returning to the genre and setting that made Turtle Rock Studios famous in the first place is likely a calculated decision by the team, which could use a big win after Evolve. With a big partnership and a genre that it has already innovated once, Turtle Rock Studios could make quite the splash in the near future - or whenever Back 4 Blood releases, since there's no information regarding a launch date as of yet.