The collaboration is based on standard market terms where Starbreeze as publisher has sufficient long-term rights to develop and commercialize one or more games based on The Walking Dead universe against customary royalties to Skybound. The likely impact on profits for Starbreeze will depend on how the future games will be received by the players in 2016 and onwards, and can thus not be projected today.
“For Starbreeze Studios this is a major strategic move, taking on an independent brand and treating it as our own. We have great experience from the PAYDAY series that can be utilized in bringing The Walking Dead to first-person shooter gamers everywhere.” says Bo Andersson Klint, CEO, Starbreeze AB. He continues, “The Walking Dead TV series is the #1 TV show in over 50 countries with millions of viewers all around the world, and The Walking Dead comic is one of the bestselling comics ever. Overkill’s The WalkingDead will be our biggest endeavor to date and marks a new era for our company. This is a long-term commitment, as with all our franchises. Teaming up with Robert Kirkman on creating this game and involving our community in the process will show the strength of independents working together.”
Dan Murray, President, Skybound Interactive, states, “I’ve been a fan of Starbreeze for many years. Recent titles such as Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons and PAYDAY 2 showcase an incredible range of talent. Starbreeze consistently demonstrates their commitment toward delivering to their fans. The way they communicate with their community in the PAYDAY franchise aligns perfectly with our goals at Skybound. We look forward to creating an innovative multiplayer experience in the world of The Walking Dead alongside the OVERKILL crew.”
“The collaboration between Starbreeze Studios and our partner Skybound Interactive will deliver something uniquely exciting for our millions of fans. We’re two independents joining forces to create the ultimate survival horror game. With Robert on the team, we will bring The Walking Dead into the world of first-person shooter co-op games.” says Bo Andersson Klint, CEO, Starbreeze AB. He continues, “It will be gameplay focused, ferocious and bring chaos to the traditional industry model – from us developers straight to you. This time it’s big – don’t walk alone.”
“From day one on this project it’s been clear to me that this is the Walking Dead co-op action game fans have been waiting for. I can’t wait for people to learn just what Overkill has been cooking up for this game. Skybound is always about breaking new ground and trying to find something unexpected in all endeavors and this game continues that tradition in grand style.” says Robert Kirkman, CEO, Skybound Entertainment.
“With this unique collaboration Starbreeze takes a great leap towards becoming a global leader in the new digital world. For the first time ever, Starbreeze Studios, one of Europe’s oldest independent developers, is both developer and publisher of a game. It has been one of the board’s long-term goals to take control of the business. Thanks to our success with the PAYDAY franchise along with our partnership with Skybound Interactive we are now able to cut out the middleman and have a direct relationship with our community, focusing on making the best game we possibly can together.” says Michael Hjorth, Chairman of the Board of Starbreeze AB. He adds, “We are convinced that the time is right for an aggressive strategy. Going forward, the board and management will actively work to strengthen our portfolio and technology platform even further. Our sales pulses work, we have the largest player community group on Steam and we have access to a strong and well known IP. Moreover, we now have the most important elements in place; a great team, a proven business model and the capital to make it all happen. Our journey has just begun.
To commemorate the collaboration between the companies, an exclusive weapon, the “Lucille” baseball bat from The Walking Dead, will be offered to the PAYDAY 2 community for free to be used in-game in PAYDAY 2.
Overkill’s The Walking Dead will be powered by Starbreeze’s Diesel engine updated for the next generation.
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