State of Decay 3: Trailers, expected launch date, and everything we know so far

State Of Decay 3 Ice
State Of Decay 3 Ice (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

State of Decay 3 has been revealed at the July 2020 Xbox Series X showcase, giving us our first glimpse at this next-gen zombie simulator.

There are no hard details about the game as of yet, but there's plenty we can infer from the game's cinematic teaser, and hints about its potential launch window. Here's everything we know so far, and some honest-to-goodness speculation.

State of Decay 3 Setting and gameplay

The trailer only really gives us hints about a few things, besides the fact that it's on its way. There are a couple of details we can glean, though.

State of Decay hasn't really had a wintry setting as of yet, and from the trailer, we can see a survivalist in a vast frostbitten wilderness. Every State of Decay area has been set in fictional counties in America so far. What we might be seeing here is the Rocky Mountains, or perhaps even Alaska or Canada. Could temperature factor into gameplay, as seen in similar survival games like The Long Dark? Will we have to try to keep warm in addition to managing hunger and zombie-induced injury? It's an exciting prospect.

Beyond the setting, we also get a look at a really awesome scene showing how the plague has manifested in the new game. In a disturbing role reversal, we see an undead deer devouring the corpse of a wolf, before screeching into the camera. Previously, State of Decay only featured human and mutated human enemies, indicating that the plague has now spread from humans to animals as well.

Given the wintry setting, practically any wild animal is a potential candidate for zombification. Zombie wolves, zombie moose, zombie bears? The last one is particularly terrifying to think about.

State of Decay 3 Development history

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

As of July 2020, State of Decay 3 is in active development. Undead Labs noted that the game is in pre-production planning and that they've been working on it for "some time."

In a previous interview, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty noted that they expect State of Decay 3 to be a much bigger, persistent online game and that Microsoft's investment would help Undead Labs to get there sooner.

"When we first started working on State of Decay, we had a much bigger game, a much more persistent online game, and I know that Undead Labs will get there eventually, but by bringing them into the Microsoft family, I think we're able to accelerate that and get us there sooner which is great."

Undead Labs aren't ready to talk about the game in further detail as of yet, but we do have some idea about its potential launch window.

State of Decay 3 Release date

Microsoft previously stated that most games between now and 2022 would be cross-gen titles, launching both on Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Since State of Decay 3 is an Xbox Series X-gen exclusive, that seems to put the game firmly in 2022 or beyond for a potential launch.

State of Decay 3 Hopes and dreams

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

State of Decay 2 is a game I'm particularly fond of, but I think even the game's staunchest fans would be remiss to ignore the game's rough edges. Whether it's the limiting tether-style co-operative play, or the game's crazy physics anomalies, State of Decay 2 is a game that was let down by a litany of issues that only serve to take you out of the game's immersive simulation setting.

Hopefully, State of Decay 3 will put aside the jank and deliver something a little more polished across the board. The cinematic trailer also sets a very, very high bar for visuals and animation. I would frankly be shocked if State of Decay 3 can deliver anything close to that, but it would be very welcomed indeed.

Xbox Series X/S


Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!