State of Decay may not be getting multiplayer, but Undead Labs has said co-op multiplayer will be at “the heart of any future State of Decay games.”
Speaking on the game’s forums, executive producer Jeff Strain the team wanted to add multiplayer to State of Decay, but it was “up to its eyeballs” trying to retrofit the game engine to support an open-world sandbox game.
“That retrofitting would have extended to the multiplayer support as well, and we estimated it could have delayed release of the game by as much as half a year,” he said. “It [cutting multiplayer] was a painful decision, but a necessary one given the realities of our team size and project budget.
“We know co-op is the most requested addition to State of Decay, and we’ve also continued to hope it might be a possibility after release. Unfortunately, after reevaluating it over the past few weeks, we believe our original estimate of six months is optimistic; the actual time is probably closer to nine months.
“We could ‘check the box’ and shoehorn multiplayer in sooner than that, but it wouldn’t be a great experience, and certainly not one we’d be proud of. It’s not simply a matter of adding the technology, but also redesigning core game systems to support multiple players, and then adding new content designed for people to play together.
“It’s easy to imagine how all that would come together – as many have said, the game is practically begging for it – but retrofitting the game to add that experience would take the rest of this year, and well into the next. Worse, it would preclude our ability to offer any other kind of support for the game, including Title Updates and DLC.
“We want to see a multiplayer State of Decay as badly as you do, but it’s not feasible to retrofit it into the existing game.”
While Strain wouldn’t confirm to Eurogamer that there is indeed a sequel in the work, he did admit there are “ambitious plans for the future of State of Decay,” and for now, the only future game in universe “revolves around multiplayer, but negotiations continue.”