The Walking Dead: Betrayal, a social deception-survival game about zombies and worse (the "worse" in this case being non-zombified other people), is coming to a premature end. Skybound Games and developer Other Ocean Interactive announced today that it has decided to halt development of the game, which just launched in early access in September, and remove it from Steam completely.
"Despite the hard work put into the game, we were not able to find a path to build the spirited community of backstabbers we originally envisioned," Skybound wrote. "On December 11, we will begin the process of removing the game from Steam, and as of December 15 the game will be shut down. All players who purchased the game will receive a full refund."
I thought The Walking Dead: Betrayal looked like it had a lot of promise when I first laid eyes on it in July. It bore a number of similarities to Other Ocean's previous game, the well-regarded Project Winter (which we once called "the best bullshitting sim on PC") but added the twist of a zombie outbreak. That added pressure meant survivors wouldn't be able to take their time and think too much when deciding how to handle one crisis or another, and it also offered life-after-death playability for those who guessed wrong about who the in-house killer is.
But as Skybound said, there just wasn't an audience. A small spike of players in September shortly after beta testing began quickly evaporated, and over the past 30 days the average concurrent player count has been stuck in single digits. There's some disappointment from players in the comments in response to the announcement, but for a game that relies on a deep player base for viability, numbers like that make it a complete non-starter.
Anyone who purchased The Walking Dead: Betrayal on Steam can get a refund through Steam's normal process. If you picked it up elsewhere, you'll need to contact customer support for whatever retailer you went for, and if you run into grief on that front you can submit a ticket with Skybound support directly. Skybound confirmed that everyone who purchased the game will be eligible for a refund, regardless of time played.