State of Decay is currently engaged in a second round with the Classification Board, after its original attempt failed to pass muster. If you were holding out for the game and in particular, the promised co-op multiplayer, you should probably know that developer Undead Labs has decided not to go ahead with the feature.
The announcement was made by executive producer Jeff Strain on the game’s official forum a few days ago. Strain prefaces the bad news by confirming the game has “done well” and that Undead Labs has been able to channel these funds back into development. Unfortunately, due to a combination of time and technical difficulty, it’s been forced to dump its plans for multiplayer:
As many of you know, we had originally planned to offer co-op multiplayer in State of Decay. However, we had to make the decision to cut it during development … the reasons were mostly technical, as we were up to our eyeballs trying to retrofit our game engine to support an open-world sandbox game rather than the FPS style games it had been designed for … Unfortunately, after reevaluating it over the past few weeks, we believe our original estimate of six months was optimistic; the actual time is probably closer to nine months.
Strain goes on to say that implementing multiplayer would require the efforts of the entire team and would “preclude our ability to offer any other kind of support”, with updates and DLC being primary victims. He finishes on an upbeat note — future State of Decay games will have multiplayer as the “absolute heart”.
Good on Undead Labs for playing it straight. I’m sure it had the best of intentions with multiplayer, but better to recognise it’s not going to happen and tell the fans, rather than leave it hanging in limbo or, worse, spending all your time and money trying to implement it, only to come out of it with nothing.