The developers of State of Decay 3, Undead Labs, have hit a snag, with numerous issues plaguing the title, including issues of alleged workplace toxicity and mismanagement.
Undead Labs is the lead developer and creator studio of hit former Indie zombie-based game series, State of Decay, and while the third instalment hasn’t announced any news lately, a new Kotaku report aims to shed light on these issues.
There are many issues tied to the alleged report that continuously plague the gaming industry, such as the most recent fall from grace Activision Blizzard is facing due to workplace sexual harassment, and an ongoing sea of law room visits that keeps the weather cloudy around the prominent studio. This new report shows certain allegations Undead Labs faces, on top of other issues such as lack of focus and pressure-inducing time crunches.
Since Microsoft acquired the former Indie Undead Labs four years ago, State of Decay 3 is ‘trapped in pre-production the report outlines. Issues made their way to the surface as early as the acquisition period by Microsoft, as some employees were allegedly blindsided by the sale of the studio, and from there the disconnect thickened. Former studio head, Jeff Strain, answers questions on Medium to try and provide clarity on his point of view.
With pre-production marred with no clear direction, the report continues with managerial issues leading to developers not remaining on the same page. Allegations of sexism were also made apparent by the Kotaku report, detailing indifference toward female employee opinions, and a lack of response from upper management to mitigate employee concerns.
Kotaku cited unnamed sources, mentioning how the newly installed studio head, Philip Holt “was pushing us because he was obsessed with proving himself as a leader inside Xbox Game Studios. He was using this as leverage to further his own career and image, at the cost of the developers,” with regard to the huge turnover rate the company was experiencing. An Undead Labs time crunch was placed on active gameplay demonstrations that were rushed, including the original State of Decay 3 official announcement trailer back in 2020, which wasn’t planned.
With all the interior turmoil the studio recently faced, as detailed in the report, one of the current developers has optimism about the title, stating in the report “It could be such a cool game, and we’ve got a lot of great people working on it, and I just hope we don’t repeat the terrible habits of the last few years,” regarding the light at the end of the tunnel on development for the anticipated title.
While no concrete plans have been announced regarding State of Decay 3 recently, the massive Kotaku report certainly details the ongoing issues Undead Labs has been dealing with regarding the marred development. Fans can visit the Official Undead Labs Twitter for more information.