As The Walking Dead TV show is set to return on Valentine’s Day, the use of the license in video games has erupted in recent years following Telltale Games’ success with their 2012 game of the year adventure title, simply called The Walking Dead. Next month, both Telltale’s Michonne miniseries and Team17’s The Escapists: The Walking Dead will be released, as the license enjoys success with gamers.
The next Walking Dead game – from the developers behind the Payday titles -- is Overkill Software’s first-person shooter, known as Overkill’s The Walking Dead. After being initially revealed in 2014, the game was scheduled to launch this year. However, the developer's parent company, Starbreeze Studios, has decided the shooter is not ready just yet.
Following an investment from Korean game company Smilegate – the developers behind the largest FPS online game, Crossfire – Starbreeze has announced Overkill’s The Walking Dead is being pushed to the second half of 2017. Starbreeze says the company will publish Overkill’s title along with Payday 2 in Asian markets and develop a co-op FPS based on the existing Crossfire license.
Starbreeze clarified the situation and spoke about its efforts in Asian markets.
"OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead will be expanded with more content where an Asian version will be developed for simultaneous launch with the western version. To maximize the new opportunities, Starbreeze, 505 Games and Skybound has decided to release the game in all markets during the second half of 2017. The partners are convinced this will pave the way to success, maximize revenues and cement it as a tent pole product for the next decade to come."
The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman shared details about Overkill’s game last March, via Polygon, saying, "I can say that it will be Payday-esque because [Starbreeze and Overkill] are currently doing Payday. But I'm told it will be in a bigger world than Payday currently encompasses." Little is known about the game beyond a few brief story details from the debut trailer. In that trailer the game was shown to take place in Washington, while the gameplay trailer shown off at E3 last year showcased a live-action scene, as well as a glimpse of playable characters making their way through a battered hospital.
The game’s delay will mark a three-year wait from announcement to release in what seems to be a growing trend of developers and publishers prematurely locking down release dates only to push the game back months or even years. In between Overkill’s shooter, next month’s Michonne miniseries, and The Escapists game fans will probably see the release of The Walking Dead Season 3 from Telltale. Head of Communications at Telltale Games Job Stauffer confirmed on Twitter there would be no news on Season 3 until after the Michonne miniseries.
Overkill’s The Walking Dead will release in 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.