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December 6, 2023
1 Min Read
Image via Skybound/Other Ocean.
Skybound Games and Other Ocean are calling it on their social deduction/survival game, The Walking Dead: Betrayal. After looking at "a variety of paths" forward, they're ending development on the game, which entered Early Access in mid-September.
The pair will begin delisting the game starting next Monday, December 11 and conclude the process on Friday, December 15. Players who bought the game during its EA period will receive full refunds via the Steam page or its Discord server.
"Despite the hard work put into the game, we were not able to find a path to build the spirited community of backstabbers we originally envisioned," they wrote. "We look forward to bringing more awesome The Walking Dead experiences to you in the future."
Video games remain The Walking Dead's greatest nemesis
Despite being a popular comic book and larger TV franchise on AMC, Walking Dead has had an inconsistent track record in games. Aside from the beloved episodic series from Telltale Games, other titles like the Saints & Sinners VR games have hit niche appeal, but not been juggernaut success stories.
In the case of The Walking Dead: Overkill, it nearly killed developer Starbreeze. Not only did Skybound actively distance itself from the studio, Starbreeze almost went bankrupt due to Overkill's engine, forcing the studio to build itself back up with a new CEO and a focus on Payday 2 while simultaneously working on Payday 3.
Despite this, the larger franchise is clearly still going strong. In that sense, it ends up validating the larger transmedia push that every franchise is trying to get in on: if and when something fails to resonate with audiences, it's incredibly easy to hack it off like a limb and keep on going.
About the Author(s)
Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com
A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.
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