Skybound Entertainment in partnership with Skydance Interactive have confirmed that multiple interactive VR games based on the hugely popular The Walking Dead franchise are in the works.
Here’s an unexpected treat for VR enthusiasts among the hordes of fans of The Walking Dead out there. In an interview with IGN, Skybound (co-founded by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman) President of Interactive Dan Murray and Skydance President of Interactive Peter Akemann have discussed details of a new series of “immersive narrative storytelling” titles based on the franchise that are currently in the works at both companies.
Apparently, the new games will be interactive and, according to the IGN piece, rendered with the Unreal engine – which hopefully lays to rest any assumptions these are merely some sort of branching 360 video abomination. “The Walking Dead, it all comes back to moral choice and what would you do as the player. That’s sort of the essential principal pillar of the IP. I think that’s what people who either read the comic, watch the show, play the games,” says Murray in the IGN interview. “What better way to experience that than being in the environment itself?”
The storyline is being fleshed out with both parties cagey on the details, but the games will exist in the extended The Walking Dead universe, albeit whether they’ll take cues, for example, from Telltale Games’ excellent and critically lauded interactive narrative series. “There will be some surprises. We haven’t decided that. We can’t speak too much to what the storyline might be, but there will be a new story. We will be introducing new characters and a new storyline,” said Murray. “Beyond that, that’s something that we will be able to reveal as we dig deeper into development.”
What is clear is that the companies are targeting all three major VR platforms, PSVR, Oculus Rift and Steam VR (HTC Vive), so there’s hope the games will sport visuals to match. Certainly Murray seems to view VR as a golden opportunity for the series “We want to basically treat VR as a big platform endeavor for us to tell new stories in. The goal here is to build on top of that, and Walking Dead will be the first of many,” said Murray.
Those who have followed our E3 coverage in years past will of course remember that Starbreeze produced a VR experience based on The Walking Dead game in turn developed by Overkill Software. At E3 2015 the company used the experience to launch it’s in-house developed StarVR 210 degree VR headset, formerly InfinitEye. It’s unclear if this new announcement has any effect on work Starbreeze or Overkill are undertaking, but one things’s for sure, it sounds like you won’t be able to move for VR Walking Dead games in the not too distant future.