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Surprise, an Xbox Showcase game with a trailer you might have skipped has one of the most interesting hooks

State of Decay 3 had a pretty straightforward trailer at the Xbox Showcase, but its most intriguing development shift is the one that should've been the highlight.

Image credit: Undead Labs, Xbox Game Studios

Despite having been announced four whole years ago, it seems like we’re nowhere closer to playing State of Decay 3 now than we were then, but there’s something interesting going on behind the scenes that has many fans very excited.

The zombie shooter management sim hybrid remerged days ago during the Xbox Showcase with an admittedly bland trailer about keeping a survivour’s memory alive and escaping near-death situations. It wasn’t quite a gameplay trailer - even if it showed gameplay-adjacent moments using in-game assets.

The big news, however, was tucked away in a development update that dropped after the show.

In an Xbox Wire blog post, we learned a couple of interesting facts about the development of State of Decay 3 that positions it as a sort of super-game; the product of multiple high-profile studios under the banner of Undead Labs.

One of the game's biggest and most promising aspects is its shift into a shared-world experience, rather than a limited, session-based affair. This is a big deal for State of Decay, and it’s one thing Undead Labs has been working with Obsidian Entertainment on.

Yes, that’s developer of Fallout: New Vegas, The Outer Worlds, and the upcoming Avowed. It’s the studio’s expertise with creating its own co-op shooter Grounded, however, that’s being drawn on here. Undead Labs is working with Obsidian on State of Decay 3’s shared-world feature, allowing for seamless online co-op and shared saves. In essence, the world of the game will be owned by multiple players.

The game does look better. | Image credit: Undead Labs, Xbox Game Studios

That’s not the only Xbox studio lending its expertise; Gears of War’s The Coalition is a team known for its mastery of the Unreal Engine. The developer is specifically helping Undead Labs with UE5, and to achieve a higher level of graphical fidelity. Blind Squirrel Entertainment, and Wushu Studios are also co-developing State of Decay 3 alongside Undead Labs.

This isn’t just going to make the game look better, the tech expertise of all those teams will help create more reactive combat, according to Undead Labs, with more realistic enemy reactions, satisfying mechanics and bloody zombie dismemberment.

As much sense as it makes, that type of multi-studio collaboration is quite rare in the industry. Tech isn’t often shared, and there are very few examples of high-profile games whose individual components were built by different teams. Rage 2 is the one that comes to mind, but the practice is a little more common in the double-A and indie space.

Kepler Interactive, for instance, is a developer-owned publishing label whose various studios collaborate, share knowledge and contribute to each other’s games.

Hopefully all of those teams will help get the game out a bit faster. State of Decay 3 does not yet have a release date or target.

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