Microsoft talks State of Decay 3, envisions 'much bigger' persistent online game

State of Decay 2 is a magical, addictive, flawed zombie simulation game, where you are in control of a group of desperate survivors attempting to stay alive in a pervasive undead apocalypse. Manage your supplies, bash zombie skulls in, upgrade your base, and ultimately, survive.

State of Decay 2 wasn't the big, bold sequel many fans were expecting coming in from the first game. Although the simulation was much deeper and many of its core systems were expanded upon in huge ways, the overall game was still quite rough, and only featured drop-in client-hosted multiplayer, which is notoriously laggy across long distances.

Fast forward to E3 2018, where Microsoft announced it was acquiring the studio in full. Working as an independent entity prevented Undead Labs and Microsoft from collaborating more closely when it came to resources, budgeting, hiring, and so on, but under the same roof, Undead Labs should have the resources it needs to build the State of Decay fans have been dreaming of. And today, Microsoft confirmed interest in building State of Decay 3.

State of Decay

State of Decay (Image credit: Microsoft)

Speaking to EggPlante, Microsoft Studios lead Matt Booty discussed Undead Labs' acquisition, confirming some details about the next iteration in this hugely promising franchise.

"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.""In the case of Undead Labs, we absolutely want to go make State of Decay 3. That is a clear goal. That studio will have some other incubation, they'll work on some things, but this is a State of Decay 3 team."

State of Decay 2 will pick up at least two major content expansions as part of the game's season pass, as long as on-going tweaks to improve its performance and multiplayer latency. After that, I think it's fair to expect a far grander State of Decay title, which leverages full use of Microsoft's dedicated servers, as well as Redmond's technological expertise and resources.

You can grab State of Decay 2 from the Microsoft Store for $29.99, complete with cross-platform play between PC and Xbox, and Xbox Play Anywhere support. It's also available as part of Xbox Game Pass for $9.99 per month.

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Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is 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 tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!