State of Decay 2 rejects the battle royale genre for being already mined out

Sick of battle royale? Yeah, it hit saturation levels in a hurry. Undead Labs is over the craze too, which might sound funny given that the original State of Decay was right on the forefront of the zombie craze.

VG247 has a brief but interesting interview out with the studio design director, Richard Foge, as part of a State of Decay 2 media blitz. Foge basically says there’s no point for a studio like his to try battle royale at this point.

“It’s like there’s this field of wheat, right? And somebody built this perfect, glorious combine and went over that field of wheat. If somebody then comes up and asks you, ‘Would you also like to build a combine to go over this field of wheat?’ I’m like, there’s no wheat left! These giant combines have been rolling through this space – there’s nothing left for us to harvest. I would much rather us focus on what we’re doing, trying to find something unique in the space to excite and inspire them. Some new thing as opposed to trying to follow what other folks are doing, trying to see what scraps I can get from that.”

Nice to hear a studio come right out and say that, right? Then again, given that this willingness to not-chase a market is why Undead Labs backed away from its plans to build an MMO, maybe that didn’t work out so well for us in the end.

The game’s just hit technical beta; signups are live as of last night.

Source: VG247
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17 Comments on "State of Decay 2 rejects the battle royale genre for being already mined out"

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ultorius
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ultorius

I agree but the zombie games is another field that has no wheat left.

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Aiun Tanks

Thank fucking God. I can’t wait for this BR shit to fuck off already.

I swear to God, every other ‘gaming’ story in my news feeds are esports or battle royale or both, now. I need more bloody ignore filters.

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Sorenthaz

Battle Royale has barely been scratched though. If you’re going to try and do zombie stuff, sure it’s not got much potential there, but there could be other venues like a mecha Battle Royale where you have your mechs and then you have the pilots as well (I guess the closest I’m thinking would be like Titanfall meets Battle Royale? but probably less Americanized and more anime mecha themed).

Also given State of Decay 2 apparently has pretty bare bones co-op with tethering, I don’t really expect them to aspire to any larger multiplayer games despite how they wanted to do an MMO or something years ago.

Xijit
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Xijit

Titanfall already has a FFA mode with no teams

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Arktouros

It’s all about quality and coming up with an idea that works really well. A great example was Path of Exile. I don’t think anyone expected their Royale mode to work as well as it did but man it worked amazing. But that one was you had to kill mobs to get random loot, in a deluge of loot, and quickly sort it out as you go while fending off/attacking others while moving. It’s very panicked and a rush rush rush kinda play where as traditional Royales are more about suspenseful game play of where are they, oh I hear gunfire in the distance, etc you see in games like PUBG.

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Sorenthaz

Path of Exile put in a BR mode?

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Arktouros

Mitzruti
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Mitzruti

it was their april fool’s joke. seems like people enjoyed it enough to keep it around tho.

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Arktouros

I mean I get no one wants to gamble with their income and livelihood. I really do. However even this guy’s analogy is wrong.

You’re aren’t being offered another combine to go over that wheat field again. What you’re being offered is an actual old farming Scythe while there’s a combine running over the fields.

The reality is most of these other copy cat games just aren’t as good. They fail to capture or understand what makes a particular “combine” as efficient and good as it is. WOW clones had this same problem in the MMO space where they completely failed to capitalize on what made (makes?) WOW such a great game.

Being innovative and going for the big pay day means taking risks. It means trying ideas others haven’t. PUBG didn’t know it would be as big as it is. I get that’s way easier to say than do when it’s the ability to eat and pay your mortgage on the line but that’s just how it is.

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Michael

I think some people don’t understand that Battle Royale is not a game. It is a mode. It can be attached to pretty much any game in any genre. It is faaaaaaar from tapped out. Saying that the market is over saturated for BR is like saying that the market has too many death match games.

Xijit
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Xijit

you can add FFA PvP to anything, but as for a game were the core mechanic is FFA arena matches … that is quite saturated right now & pretty much fuck all no one who is already invested in PUBG or Fortnight is going to hop ship (at least in numbers that would be financially viable).

… also keep in mind that MS has a deep relationship with Epic and that there were rumors that MS was gearing up for a big game industry acquisition, with PUBG being high on the list for a multi-billion dollar buy out after it turned into one of the XBONE’s biggest titles (possibly the biggest, considering they have had fuck all nothing in terms of noteable titles).

Pissing off either of those two is probably not real high on MS list of things that they want to do right now.

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Jack Pipsam

Phil Spencer (the head of Xbox) echos that slightly, seemingly (thankfully) uninterested in funding a new Battle Royal game.

Millions are playing BR games right now. I don’t want to just build one because others have built them. FNBR is massive, PUBG is huge, new BR variants being built by some very quality devs, I’d rather support unless we find something special in 1P that’s a different take.

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TomTurtle

Good on them for recognizing the odds being stacked against them if they were to try, though it’s not really them saying they wouldn’t ever do it if they had the means to pull it off.

Xijit
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Xijit

you say them not making a MMO was a mistake, but look at H1Z1 & literally every other Zombie Survival MMO …

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Greaterdivinity

Honestly I think there’s still some room after some thought on the whole BR craze (H1Z1 is already fading, which really leaves PUBG/Fortnite as the only “big” players. Yeah, they’re both massive, especially Fortnite, but there’s still room for others. Even CliffyB’s nonsense game that got rushed out far too early.) but I can really respect this from the team. The work they’d have to do to make SoD work as a BR game would have absolutely harmed the core game and doesn’t really fit with any of the visions for the franchise that I’ve seen Undead Labs talk about.

Damn, guess I really need to bump up SoD in my list of games to play, been meaning to play it for a while now. Sequel still looks pretty good, and previews are apparently pretty positive so there’s that.

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Sorenthaz

The thing with new Battle Royale games is that there’s so much room for them to think outside the box and do things differently if they choose to. Radical Heights is a good example IMO, it has the potential to be something special and fun without taking itself super seriously. There’s other venues that could be explored, too, like taking Sea of Thieves and making a battle royale mode using its basic features. Or having a mecha BR where folks fight both on foot as pilots and in various vehicles/robots/power armor.

Hell even just a sci-fi BR could be different enough to get folks interested, you never really know what could do well with something like this. Or like a BR where there are dynamic destructible environments (not like Fortnite where walls just go poof after taking enough health damage; I mean like you pelt a wooden fence with enough bullets and it’ll chip holes in it, or blow up support beams in a building and sections of it collapse on folks). There’s a lot of potential should anyone bother to pursue it.

Xijit
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Xijit

ya know the funniest thing about Fortnight (I got pulled into playing it by a girl I have been talking to online) is that the 50 v 50 mode … which basically just pulls the game right back to the conventional online shooter format … is the best part of it and probably 1,000 times more fun than the PUBG mode.

It is just more fun than having a hand full of super good players mow down everyone on the map before they can fight back.

This is like rewatching the evolution of online shooters all over again, only in fast forward, as developers reinvent the wheel on why the Battlefield franchise sells a billion copies despite EA’s dog shit public reputation.