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June 17, 2019
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Skybound cuts ties with  Overkill's The Walking Dead  devs mid-release

Skybound cuts ties with Overkill's The Walking Dead devs mid-release

February 26, 2019 | By Alex Wawro

Skybound Entertainment has its contract with struggling Swedish game company Starbreeze Studios and will cease all involvement with with Overkill's The Walking Dead, which was released by Starbreeze subsidiary Overkill last year.

It's rare to see a stakeholder pull out of a game so abruptly, and even rarer for it to happen mid-release -- Overkill's The Walking Dead debuted on PC last November, and console versions were originally meant to launch early this month.

Unfortunately, the game apparently didn't sell as well on PC as Starbreeze had expected and the company began cost-cutting programs shortly after the game was released. By December it had lost a CEO, been raided by Swedish authorities, and filed for administration. 

Last month Starbreeze announced it was delaying the console versions of Overkill's The Walking Dead indefinitely, and now that Skybound has pulled out it seems unlikely they'll ever come out.

"As of today, we have terminated our contract with Starbreeze Studios and will discontinue all efforts on Overkill's The Walking Dead," reads an excerpt of Skybound's statement. "We did our best to work with Starbreeze and resolve many issues that we saw with the game, but ultimately Overkill's The Walking Dead did not meet our standards nor is it the quality that we were promised. We are exceedingly sorry to our fans and share their disappointment in the game."

Gamasutra has reached out to Skybound and Starbreeze for more information, but it's yet unclear what will happen to the PC versions of the game currently available for sale on platforms like Steam.

Update: A Skybound representative responded to Gamasutra's request with a link to a notice from Starbreeze that Overkill's The Walking Dead "likely will be disabled for further sales on the platform Steam and should Starbreeze and Skybound not reach a solution, it would mean that the game will not be made available for sale again on Steam, and that the console version would not be released."

"Sales related to OTWD amounted to SEK 34.1 million in the fourth quarter 2018," continues the statement. "Costs related to development of OTWD has so far exceeded revenue."

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