Publisher Starbreeze Studios has long been at work on its own take on the mega popular The Walking Dead universe with Overkill’s The Walking Dead from the creators of the Payday series, though the wait for the co-op shooter title has grown a little longer with new developments from the publisher at large.
In a press release from Starbreeze Studios, the company revealed that Overkill’s The Walking Dead has been pushed back to release in the second half of 2017, moving the title back at least one year from its originally-intended 2016 release (though no specific window was ever mentioned).
The announcement comes as part of larger developments with Starbreeze Studios as a whole, with the company entering a “long term strategic partnership” with Korean developer Smilegate, which will be investing a total of $40 million into the company.
The specific terms of the partnership details that Starbreeze will obtain “a 10 year right to develop, publish and distribute” a new entry in Smilegate’s CROSSFIRE franchise for western markets, with CROSSFIRE leading as “the world’s largest grossing online first-person shooter (FPS)” wither 500 million users.
Starbreeze’s take on the series will be based in the Valhalla game engine, and a release date for the title will be announced at a later time: while Starbreeze will develop the new CROSSFIRE title, Smilegate will still retain rights to the franchise as its IP holder.
In addition to development of the CROSSFIRE series into Western markets, the partnership will also allow Starbreeze to have distribution rights for their own titles into Asian markets, with Payday 2 and Overkill’s The Walking Dead specifically to be distributed through Smilegate’s platform in those markets.
Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint explained in a statement on the partnership between his company and Smilegate:
“The Eastern entertainment market has been an enigma for western game developers and vice versa. This in-depth collaboration uniquely positions Starbreeze and Smilegate to bridge the gap between the two markets. Starbreeze gains an extraordinary market position for our present and future products.”
“The innovative and financially strong Smilegate with its billion-dollar CROSSFIRE franchise is a perfect partner for us. This strategic move will propel Starbreeze several years ahead in our evolution as a producer and publisher of truly global digital entertainment products.”
“I am genuinely excited to have the opportunity to work together with the successful, agile and smart team at Smilegate. We will create a powerhouse of a partnership for the next decade.”
Overkill’s The Walking Dead will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2017.