Starbreeze might be tightening its belt in light of lower than expected revenue from Overkill’s The Walking Dead (opens in new tab). The Payday developer’s co-op zombie FPS launched a few weeks ago after a long wait, but it's not doing as well as the publisher had hoped.
“Initial sales revenues from the game are lower than expected,” reads a press release (opens in new tab) for shareholders. Rather than blaming low sales, however, Starbreeze cites a higher share of sales in countries like China and Russia, where the price of the game is cheaper, as the main reason.
“This is disappointing, of course, but we have a base to work with in regards to the number of games sold,” Starbreeze continued. “We have a pulse of concurrent players, which is essential to future performance within the framework of our Games as a Service concept. The team is working at full capacity to deliver improvements to the game and new content, and Season 2 will be starting soon.”
In terms of concurrent players (opens in new tab), it’s hard to imagine The Walking Dead reaching the same heights as Payday 2. Overkill’s previous game has over 10,000 more players in-game than The Walking Dead at the moment.
In his Overkill’s The Walking Dead review (opens in new tab), Ian Birnbaum called it a mess, with broken multiplayer getting in the way of all the zombie bashing.
I wanted to love the slow zombies and the apocalyptic nihilism that made me love the source material. But if an online-only multiplayer game is pretty good except for all the online multiplayer stuff, well then it is not good at all. To Overkill's credit, it seems to be pushing out daily updates and bug fixes. Maybe in a few months, when the price has come down and the bugs have been squashed, The Walking Dead might be worth your time. Until then, there are better horror stories in Left 4 Dead, better guns in Killing Floor, and better melee combat in Vermintide—and those games work properly.