Starbreeze can no longer make its Walking Dead game with developer Overkill, according to Skybound Entertainment. The publisher of The Walking Dead comic book series revealed today that it has canceled its contract with the gaming company.
“As of today, we have terminated our contract with Starbreeze Studios,” a Skybound spokesperson said in a statement. “And [we] will discontinue all efforts on Overkill’s The Walking Dead.”
Overkill’s The Walking Dead is a cooperative shooter that takes place in the same universe as the comic books. It debuted November 6 for PC, and it disappointed many fans and critics. This led to problems for Starbreeze, which revealed it planned to cut costs. Then in December Starbreeze chief executive Bo Andersson Klint stepped down in direct response to The Walking Dead’s sales.
Since then, Starbreeze has put the console versions of Overkill’s The Walking Dead on indefinite hold. Swedish authorities even raided the studio in December over insider-trading charges.
Now, Overkill’s The Walking Dead is officially over. I’ve reached out to Starbreeze for a statement.
Why Skybound is pulling the plug
In its statement, Skybound revealed that it’s determined to treat its properties well. And it did not believe that Overkill’s game was a good extension of The Walking Dead.
“Our creators and their stories are the core of Skybound, and since 2014 we have worked hard to expand the world of The Walking Dead into an exceptional co-op action FPS,” a Skybound spokesperson said. “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.”
The comics publisher apologized to fans. It also says that it is not retreating from the game industry.
“We are exceedingly sorry to our fans and share their disappointment in the game,” the spokesperson continued. “We remain dedicated to providing our fans with the most premium quality content we can offer and will continue to look for alternative video game options for the IP.”
The Walking Dead is the best-selling black-and-white comic book each month, according to industry-tracking firm Diamond. It was also a surprise video game hit with Telltale’s The Walking Dead in 2012, when it was GamesBeat’s game of the year. Telltale followed that up with multiple new seasons of the episodic adventure game, but it collapsed before finishing The Final Season of the series. Skybound has since saved The Final Season and plans to finish it on its own.