Undead Labs

Undead Labs LLC is an American video game developer based in Seattle, Washington. The company was founded in November 2009 by Jeff Strain and developed the State of Decay series. In 2018, Undead Labs became part of Microsoft Studios (now known as Xbox Game Studios).

Undead Labs LLC
Subsidiary
IndustryVideo game industry
FoundedNovember 23, 2009
FounderJeff Strain
Headquarters,
U.S.
Key people
Ted Woolsey (general manager)
ProductsState of Decay
Number of employees
~60[1] (2018)
ParentXbox Game Studios (2018–present)
Websiteundeadlabs.com

History

Undead Labs was founded on November 23, 2009, by Jeff Strain, with the sole focus on zombie-based games.[2] On February 3, 2011 Undead Labs announced that they were partnering with Microsoft Game Studios to publish their games on the Xbox 360 and now also the Xbox One.[3] This decision was made after most of the other publishers who showed interest in their games were requesting what they described as "World of Warcraft clones".[4] The first game State of Decay was released on the Xbox 360 on June 5, 2013 and on Microsoft Windows on November 5, 2013.[5][6][7]

On January 11, 2014 it was announced that Undead Labs has signed a multi-year, multi-title agreement with Microsoft Studios.[8] Jeff Strain stated that the first State of Decay was "just the start of (Undead Labs') long-term ambitions", and spoke of many future titles potentially entering the franchise.[9]

At E3 2018, Microsoft announced they had entered into an agreement to acquire Undead Labs into Microsoft Studios.

Games

State of Decay (formerly Class3) is an open world zombie survival horror game, but unlike games such as Left 4 Dead and Dead Island, State of Decay focuses more on survival, stealth, evasion, distraction, securing resources, and moving through the world rather than actual zombie combat. On April 12, 2013 the game was officially announced to release in June 2013 on Xbox Live Arcade and Microsoft Windows at a future date.[10] State of Decay was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace on June 5, 2013.

On August 5, 2014, Undead Labs announced a free-to-play role-playing title for iOS and Android known as Moonrise.[11] After limited releases for iOS in Canada,[12] Denmark and Sweden[13] on December 3, a beta was launched on Steam in early March[14] followed by Early Access on May 27.[15] It was later canceled before release.[16] Android and iOS were the original planned platforms for the worldwide release, but the Android version was never released as the game was still in beta when it closed.[17]

During PAX Prime 2014, Undead Labs and Microsoft announced a next-gen version of State of Decay, titled State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition.

During E3 2016, Undead Labs and Microsoft announced State of Decay 2 which was released on May 22, 2018. It can be an Xbox Play Anywhere Title; one purchase will grant access to the Windows 10 and Xbox One version of the game.[18]

References

  1. ^ https://www.seattletimes.com/business/technology/birth-of-a-video-game-how-a-small-seattle-shop-creates-a-sequel-to-a-smash-hit-with-some-help-from-giant-microsoft/
  2. ^ https://undeadlabs.com/2009/11/press/studio-announcement-us/
  3. ^ "Undead Labs and Microsoft game studios to create zombie..." Undead Labs. February 3, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  4. ^ "Rude QA 2". Undead Labs. February 3, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  5. ^ Rosenburg, Adam (February 2, 2011). "'Class3' Coming To Xbox Live Arcade". MTV Multiplayer. Archived from the original on January 1, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  6. ^ McElroy, Griffon (February 3, 2011). "Jeff Strain Shares His Vision for Class3, a Different Kind of Zombie Game". Joystiq. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  7. ^ Weathers, Sanya (August 31, 2012). "Faq". Undead Labs. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  8. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (January 11, 2014). "State of Decay dev signs multi-year agreement with Microsoft". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  9. ^ Sarkar, Samit (April 20, 2014). "State of Decay's Lifeline DLC is just the start of Undead Labs' 'long-term ambitions'". Polygon. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "SOD release announced to be June 2013".
  11. ^ "State of Decay studio debuts mobile RPG Moonrise". Archived from the original on August 8, 2014.
  12. ^ "Limited Release - Canada!". forums.undeadlabs.com. December 3, 2014. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  13. ^ "Limited Release - Denmark and Sweden!". forums.undeadlabs.com. December 3, 2014. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  14. ^ "Moonrise...Coming to Steam". forums.undeadlabs.com. March 4, 2015. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  15. ^ "Now Available on Steam Early Access - Moonrise". Valve. May 27, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  16. ^ "Developer Bio: Geoffrey Card". Archived from the original on October 17, 2015.
  17. ^ Jeff Strain (August 28, 2015). "The Sun Sets on Moonrise". Undead Labs. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  18. ^ http://www.xbox.com/en-us/games/xbox-play-anywhere

External links

2018 in video gaming

Numerous video games were released in 2018. Best-selling games included Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Red Dead Redemption 2, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Far Cry 5, God of War, Monster Hunter: World and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Highly regarded games by video game critics released in 2018 included Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Marvel's Spider-Man, Forza Horizon 4, Monster Hunter: World, Dead Cells, Return of the Obra Dinn, and Celeste. The year's highest-grossing games included Fortnite, Honor of Kings/Arena of Valor, Dungeon Fighter Online, League of Legends, and Pokémon Go.

Among major trends in 2018 included the explosive growth of battle royale games such as Bluehole's PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Epic Games' Fortnite Battle Royale, the resurgence of Pokémon Go, ongoing governmental review of loot boxes in light of national gambling restrictions, Sony Interactive Entertainment agreeing to allow cross-platform play between PlayStation 4 and other console users, and the entry of Fortnite-related internet memes into popular culture. With Fortnite's success, Epic was able to establish the Epic Games Store for personal computers as a strong competitor to the dominant but criticized position held by Valve Corporation's Steam digital storefront by significantly increasing the revenue split it gave to developers. Additionally, with a number of major sudden studio closures, including Telltale Games, there was an increasing call for video game developers to unionize. A nearly year-long freeze on video game approvals by the Chinese government had a major impact on publishers Tencent and NetEase, and is expected to impact future revenues in the industry.

Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, California, and is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard. The company was founded on February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse, Inc. by three graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles: Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham. The company originally concentrated on the creation of game ports for other studios' games before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with games like Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In 1994 the company became Chaos Studios, Inc., then Blizzard Entertainment after being acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates.

Shortly thereafter, Blizzard released Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard created several other video games, including Warcraft sequels, the Diablo series, the StarCraft series, and in 2004 the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft. Their most recent projects include the first expansion for Diablo III, Reaper of Souls, the online collectible card game Hearthstone, the seventh expansion for World of Warcraft, Battle for Azeroth, the multiplayer online battle arena Heroes of the Storm, the third and final expansion for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Legacy of the Void, and the multiplayer first-person hero shooter Overwatch.

On July 9, 2008, Activision merged with Vivendi Games, culminating in the inclusion of the Blizzard brand name in the title of the resulting holding company. On July 25, 2013, Activision Blizzard announced the purchase of 429 million shares from majority owner Vivendi. As a result, Activision Blizzard became a completely independent company.Blizzard Entertainment hosts conventions for fans to meet and to promote their games: the BlizzCon in California, United States, and the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in other countries, including South Korea and France.

Compulsion Games

Compulsion Games Inc. is a Canadian video game developer known for Contrast and We Happy Few. The studio is located in a former grammophone factory in the Saint-Henri district of Montreal. In 2018, Compulsion Games became part of Microsoft Studios (now known as Xbox Game Studios).

Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018

The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018 (E3 2018) was the 24th Electronic Entertainment Expo, during which hardware manufacturers, software developers, and publishers from the video game industry presented new and upcoming products to the attendees, primarily retailers and members of the video game press. The event, organized by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 12–14, 2018, with many companies holding press conferences in the days prior. With the industry still in the middle of the eighth generation of video game consoles, no new hardware was introduced, and publishers and developers principally focused on new games to be released in 2018 and beyond. The event drew 69,200 attendees, the largest since 2005.

Jeff Strain

Jeff Strain is an American game programmer and one of the three founders of ArenaNet. He served ArenaNet and NCsoft as the leader of the Art and Production teams and President of Product Development respectively. He was previously the lead programmer of Blizzard Entertainment's MMORPG World of Warcraft; he also created the StarCraft campaign editor and worked on Diablo and Warcraft III. He is credited as a programmer and executive producer for Guild Wars.

He left NCsoft in August 2009 under amicable terms with the company. On November 23, 2009, it was announced that Jeff had founded Undead Labs to create a zombie game for major consoles called State of Decay.

Kabam

Kabam (formerly Watercooler, Inc.) is an interactive entertainment company founded in 2006 and headquartered in Vancouver, BC. with offices in San Francisco, CA and Austin, Texas.

The company creates, develops and publishes massively multiplayer social games (MMSG’s) such as Marvel Contest of Champions for mobile devices. Before expanding into gaming, Kabam established itself as a social applications developer with entertainment and sports communities totaling more than 60 million users.

Kabam markets freemium games for mobile devices, and social networking services,. The company's previous investors included Alibaba, Canaan Partners, Google, MGM, Intel, Pinnacle Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Warner Bros. and others.

The company has focused on developing "real games," or games with immersive gameplay mechanics akin to more traditional MMOs with an emphasis on the spending and gambling of virtual currency. In late 2009, Kabam launched Kingdoms of Camelot, one of the first successful strategy games on Facebook, but in June 2010, the number of players began constantly shrinking.As of April 2015, Kabam announced a shift in its focus to developing AAA mobile games. In July 2015, Kabam announced that Marvel Contest of Champions hit $100 million in gross revenue in seven months, the fastest of any game in Kabam history (The Hobbit was next fastest at 13 months).

As of December 19, 2016, Kabam's Vancouver Studio was acquired by Netmarble Games.

List of CryEngine games

This is a list of games that use a version of CryEngine, developed by Crytek. The main article on CryEngine gives further details on the engine itself and its versions.

List of PC games (S)

The following page is an alphabetical section from the list of PC games.

List of Xbox Live games on Windows 10

This is a list of Xbox Live enabled games on Windows 10 currently planned or released on Windows 10 operating systems through the Windows Store application. The first wave of Windows 10 Xbox games were announced on Xbox Wire in March 2015. All Xbox Live enabled games on Windows 10 are made available on the Windows Store. In order to be released on Windows 10 as an Xbox Live enabled game, the developer needs to be a member of ID@Xbox.

Xbox Live enabled titles will be identifiable in the marketplace by a green banner running across the top of the game page icon that reads "Xbox Live".

List of companies based in Seattle

This is a list of large or well-known interstate or international companies headquartered in the Seattle metropolitan area.

As of November 2016, Seattle, Washington was home to six Fortune 500 companies: Internet retailer Amazon (#18), coffee chain Starbucks (#146), clothing merchant Nordstrom (#197), Weyerhaeuser (#373), Expeditors International (#390), and Alaska Airlines (#459). Four more are located in the metropolitan area: Costco Wholesale (#15), Microsoft (#25), Paccar (#147), and Expedia Group (#385).

List of mergers and acquisitions by Microsoft

Microsoft is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions. Established on April 4, 1975 to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems. Microsoft would also come to dominate the office suite market with Microsoft Office. The company has diversified in recent years into the video game industry with the Xbox, the Xbox 360, and the Xbox One, as well as into the consumer electronics and digital services market with Zune, MSN and the Windows Phone OS.

The company's initial public offering was held on March 14, 1986. The stock, which eventually closed at US$27.75 a share, peaked at $29.25 a share shortly after the market opened for trading. After the offering, Microsoft had a market capitalization of $519.777 million. Microsoft has subsequently acquired 217 companies, purchased stakes in 64 companies, and made 25 divestments. Of the companies that Microsoft has acquired, 107 were based in the United States. Microsoft has not released financial details for most of these mergers and acquisitions.

Since Microsoft's first acquisition in 1987, it has purchased an average of six companies a year. The company purchased more than ten companies a year between 2005 and 2008, and it acquired 18 firms in 2006, the most in a single year, including Onfolio, Lionhead Studios, Massive Incorporated, ProClarity, Winternals Software, and Colloquis. Microsoft has made ten acquisitions worth over one billion dollars: Skype (2011), aQuantive (2007), Fast Search & Transfer (2008), Navision (2002), Visio Corporation (2000), Yammer (2012), Nokia's mobile and devices division (2013), Mojang (2014), LinkedIn (2016) and GitHub (2018).

Microsoft has also purchased several stakes valued at more than a billion dollars. It obtained an 11.5% stake in Comcast for $1 billion, a 22.98% stake in Telewest for $2.263 billion, and a 3% stake in AT&T for $5 billion. Among Microsoft's divestments, in which parts of the company are sold to another company, only Expedia Group was sold for more than a billion dollars; USA Networks purchased the company on February 5, 2002 for $1.372 billion.

List of video game developers

This is a list of notable video game companies that have made games for either computers (like PC or Mac), video game consoles, handheld or mobile devices, and includes companies that currently exist as well as now-defunct companies.

See the list of video games for other lists relating to video games, and defunct video game companies for a more specific list of companies that no longer exist. Many of the developers publish their own games.

Patrick Wyatt

Patrick Wyatt is a game programmer and one of the three co-founders of ArenaNet. He was the leader of the Network and Technology teams and a programmer for Guild Wars. Before the founding of ArenaNet, he was working in Blizzard Entertainment where he was the Vice President of Research and Development and a senior programmer. Wyatt was the leader of Battle.net gaming network's programming and a major contributor on the multiplayer parts of Blizzard's popular games including StarCraft, Diablo and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Having been in Blizzard for more than eight years, his work also includes earlier Blizzard games like Lost Vikings and Rock N' Roll Racing.

On February 24, 2010, he became the Chief Operations Officer for En Masse Entertainment, along with other industry veterans. The first official En Masse title, an MMORPG titled TERA, launched in 2011 in South Korea and 2012 in North America and Europe.

Patrick was employed by Undead Labs on January 30, 2014, where he worked with Jeff Strain, another co-founder of ArenaNet.

As of November 2015 he is now Senior Principal Engineer for Amazon Games.

SpeedTree

SpeedTree is a group of vegetation programming and modeling software products developed and sold by Interactive Data Visualization, Inc. (IDV) that generates virtual foliage for animations, architecture and in real time for video games and demanding real time simulations.

SpeedTree has been licensed to developers of a range of video games for Microsoft Windows, and the Xbox and PlayStation console series since 2002.

SpeedTree has been used in more than 40 major films since its release in 2009, including Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Life of Pi and Birdman, and was used to generate the lush vegetation of Pandora, in Avatar.SpeedTree was awarded a Scientific and Technical Academy Award in 2015, presented to IDV founders Michael Sechrest and Chris King, and Senior Engineer Greg Croft.

State of Decay (video game)

State of Decay is an action-adventure survival horror stealth video game developed by Undead Labs and published by Microsoft Studios. It places emphasis on how the player's leaderships skills fare against an onslaught of problems, such as diminishing survival resources, group trust and morale, zombie extermination, base defenses, and people's lives. The game combines elements of shooters, stealth, role-playing and strategy games and the game challenges players to survive by exploring, scavenging, and fighting the undead.

It was released for the Xbox 360 on June 5, 2013 and was met with positive reviews. A Microsoft Windows version was released on September 20, 2013 via Steam's Early Access, with a release following on November 5, 2013. A remastered version called the Year-One Survival Edition was released on April 28, 2015 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One with mixed reviews.

State of Decay 2 was announced at Xbox's E3 2016. The game introduced cooperative multiplayer. It was released on May 22, 2018.

State of Decay 2

State of Decay 2 is an open world zombie survival video game developed by Undead Labs and published by Microsoft Studios. It is a sequel to the 2013 video game State of Decay. The game was released on May 22, 2018 for Windows and Xbox One. The point of the game is to build a community and survive against the horde of zombies.

Ted Woolsey

Ted Woolsey is an American video game translator and producer. He had the primary role in the North American production and localization of Square's role-playing video games released for the Super NES between 1991 and 1996.

Xbox Game Studios

Xbox Game Studios, previously known as Microsoft Studios, Microsoft Game Studios, and Microsoft Games, is a division of Microsoft based in Redmond, Washington. It was established in March 2000, spun out from an internal Games Group, for the development and publishing of video games for Microsoft Windows. It has since expanded to include games and other interactive entertainment for the Xbox platforms, Windows Mobile and other mobile platforms, and web-based portals. As the studio grew, it has acquired and relinquished ownership of several other studios, and is the parent organization of thirteen other studios.

Xbox One

Xbox One is a line of eighth generation home video game consoles developed by Microsoft. Announced in May 2013, it is the successor to Xbox 360 and the third console in the Xbox family. It was first released in North America, parts of Europe, Australia, and South America in November 2013, and in Japan, China, and other European countries in September 2014. It is the first Xbox game console to be released in China, specifically in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. Microsoft marketed the device as an "all-in-one entertainment system", hence the name 'Xbox One'. The Xbox One line mainly competes against consoles such as Sony's PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch.

Moving away from its predecessor's PowerPC-based architecture, Xbox One marks a shift back to the x86 architecture used in the original Xbox; it features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built around the x86-64 instruction set. Xbox One's controller was redesigned over the Xbox 360's, with a redesigned body, D-pad, and triggers capable of delivering directional haptic feedback. The console places an increased emphasis on cloud computing, as well as social networking features, and the ability to record and share video clips or screenshots from gameplay, or live-stream directly to streaming services such as Mixer and Twitch. Games can also be played off-console via a local area network on supported Windows 10 devices. The console can play Blu-ray Disc, and overlay live television programming from an existing set-top box or a digital tuner for digital terrestrial television with an enhanced program guide. The console optionally included a redesigned Kinect sensor, marketed as the "Kinect 2.0", providing improved motion tracking and voice recognition.

Xbox One received mostly positive reviews for its refined controller design, multimedia features, and voice navigation. Its quieter and cooler design was praised for making the console more reliable than its predecessor on-launch, but the console was generally criticized for running games at a technically lower graphical level than the PlayStation 4. Its original user interface was panned for being nonintuitive, although changes made to it and other aspects of the console's software post-launch received positive reception. Its Kinect received praise for its improved motion-tracking accuracy, its face recognition logins, and its voice commands.

The original Xbox One model was succeeded by Xbox One S in 2016, which has a smaller form factor and support for HDR10 high-dynamic-range video, as well as support for 4K video playback and upscaling of games from 1080p to 4K. It was praised for its smaller size, its on-screen visual improvements, and its lack of an external power supply, but its regressions such as the lack of a native Kinect port were noted. A high-end model, Xbox One X, was unveiled in June 2017 and released in November; it features upgraded hardware specifications, and support for rendering games at 4K resolution.

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