During Episode 67 of the Iron Lords Podcast, Richard Foge, Design Director at Undead Labs, came on as a guest speaker. While he talked about his background in the gaming industry, he also offered some insights into what has changed or what will be changing due to the Microsoft acquisition of Undead Labs.
Here’s some key points Richard made during the podcast, answering different questions about the Microsoft acquisition of Undead Labs:
One of the many topics was creative control and how Matt Booty and Phil Spencer have reiterated that the newly acquired studios will have the freedom to make the games they want. When asked if that included Undead Labs making something new in the future, Richard stated that “It’s still kinda early days in terms of what that’s going to shape up to be. I get the impression I’m going to be working on State of Decay for the foreseeable future. I think in my personal opinion, Microsoft is swinging for the fences. They’re not fooling around, they really want to be on top, they want to be on top with the best games, the best hardware and making people happy.” He goes on to explain that while he’s not sure how they’d react if he brought an absurd pitch, he knows that “they’re not messing around.”
Another big topic was the lack of dedicated servers, a major criticism even from players who have enjoyed the game. When asked if the Microsoft acquisition changed things in regards to the cost of dedicated servers moving forward, Richard confirmed that “The landscape is entirely changed.” He also talked about how previously, when Undead Labs was an independent studio, there were concerns brought up that the studio might not even exist years into the future. Now, as the acquisition has gone through, fears have been allayed and that “it helps quite a bit.”
When asked if Undead Labs would be growing in size due to becoming a part of Microsoft Studios, Richard explained that “It’s so early that there’s nothing really concrete there, you know. It’s hard to imagine us shrinking at all though, so…”
For more information and insights, be sure to listen to the full episode of Iron Lords Podcast right here.
Microsoft made some huge announcements at their E3 2018 conference, the biggest of which being that they were doubling their first-party studios by building a new team from the ground up called The Initiative, and acquiring four more studios: Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory and Compulsion Games. Phil Spencer has reiterated that he doesn’t think Microsoft is done building their first-party, so it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here.