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Overkill's The Walking Dead

Former Starbreeze CEO blames devs for Walking Dead failure

In his last email to staff at Starbreeze Bo Andersson said that there was a lack of care put into the project.

Despite the weight of The Walking Dead franchise, Overkill's game set in the same universe didn't receive stellar reviews when it released in November last year. After Payday 2 anticipation for this shooter was high, but Starbreeze and Overkill's game didn't quite hit the mark, resulting in Starbreeze filing for reconstruction and CEO Bo Andersson stepping down, with the company raided shortly after due to suspicions of insider trading.

A new report has since emerged on Starbreeze's recent troubles, and in it we can see a leaked email Andersson sent to staff before his departure. Here he explains why he thinks The Walking Dead didn't do as well as expected, and something that has shocked even sources at the studio is this paragraph:

"Personally though I lost all my money, my family in divorce and my kids custody through the toil over the last 2-3 years working 100 hour weeks for Starbreeze and keeping you devs paid and in the game. With less and less developers willing to put in the extra care in a product it clearly limits the possible result of enough quality in time. This is a new era and I did not leave the old one and adapt in time - my fault. Its ok - its new times."

"He's really pushing the blame on everyone else but him," responded one developer who worked on the game. "It's a ridiculous thing to write."

Andersson also adds that Payday 3 was his "dream project" but that he knew it'd be in capable hands without him. Despite the paragraph in question he did also have a lot of praise for his former colleagues, not that this has diverted attention away from his statements on The Walking Dead specifically.

Even some anonymous developers revealed that they were aware of the game's shortcomings. "Everyone knew it was going to tank," explained one. "All of us, we put our blood, sweat and tears - and our f****** livers and pancreases - everything into that game, and no matter how much we would push to do it as best we could, it got s*** on. No matter how much you polish a turd, it's still a turd. It was never going to get any better than where it was. It was always hacked. Everything that was done there was - let's hack it and put it together. There wasn't much hope for most people, and what little hope there was was dead by the end of it."

Acting CEO Mikael Nermark also had comments to make on The Walking Dead:

"On OTWD; the core team, producers and others, worked hard and often late during the last year of production. Our goal was not to have a mandatory crunch, but when needed, specific people were asked, if they were willing and able, to finalise a feature or commit on a strictly situational level. To be absolutely clear - the whole team has a very high work ethic and we all worked hard together."

"On the technology switch; this did absolutely affect the timeline for OTWD. It was a business decision that came late - but also a necessity and something the producers tried to mitigate as best possible."

"I personally greatly appreciate and respect all the hard work all of our employees have put into all of our projects. We will work diligently at making sure everyone is given room to create great games according to their expertise - with clear goals set on an individual level aligned with our future overall strategy."

With the consoles versions of the game delayed it's certainly a tough time for Starbreeze as a whole, and for our own thoughts on The Walking Dead make sure to check out our review.

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Overkill's The Walking Dead