“Microsoft backed a game that nobody in their right mind should have touched.”
Microsoft has generally been very good with developer relations- in fact, one of the reasons that they originally managed to siphon third parties away from PlayStation, or that they were able to pioneer the indie game revolution back in the day on the Xbox 360, is because of how good they are at handling developer relations.
So it should come as no surprise that one of their closest partners, State of Decay creators Undead Labs, have nothing but nice things to say about them. In an interview published by Gamespot, Undead Labs CEO Jeff Strain talked about how Microsoft was willing to back the original State of Decay when no other publisher would have, and how Undead Labs hopes to continue partnering with the publisher on all future State of Decay games.
“They own the name and the specific incarnation of it. Microsoft backed a game that nobody in their right mind should have touched,” Strain said. “We talked to them from the very beginning. I mean, we’re in Seattle, they’re in Redmond. I knew that I wanted to build a great console game and a great PC game, and it just made sense to work with them. But going out with a game that’s permadeath, which at the time in 2009/10 when we started developing nobody was doing. That’s game design 101. You don’t do permadeath, are you guys on crack?
“And also with that just kind of general formula that I was talking about, there were no comparables. Big publishers get nervous when they can’t say, ‘Oh, it’s like PUBG, only it’s got dragons.’
“So we came up with this grand vision for what this thing could be, and to their great credit, the folks at Microsoft said yeah, let’s give it a go. And so they’ve been a good partner and as long as we’re making State of Decay games, Microsoft will be our partner in that.”
It’s heartening to hear that Microsoft had this kind of vision for the game- if this is the kind of developer support they continue to extend going forward, then I have no doubt that their first party exclusives problem would be far easier to resolve. State of Decay 2 launches exclusively on Xbox On and Windows 10 PCs later this month.