State of Decay, Undead Labs’ Microsoft-published zombie apocalypse open-world survivor game has sold more copies in the first three days of its release than any other title in Xbox Live Arcade history– with one exception: Minecraft. And, when you add to that the qualification “of a brand new IP”, it tops the chart. Particularly unexpected in light of a lack of an enormous marketing push. This was largely achieved with a demo and strong word-of-mouth.
State of Decay managed to sell 250,000 copies in the first 48 hours of its release.
Following on the heels of the Sony-only sort-of-zombie-apocalypse game The Last of Us which released last week, State of Decay attempts to differentiate itself in an already-very-crowded zombie apocalypse category by broadening the game into a focus on survival and in-game community-building (communities of NPCs– SoD is a single-player-only proposition), taking place in a world that Game Informer reported as being “as large as [the world of] Grand Theft Auto III“. Decay features a fun mix of classic sandbox gameplay, with a dynamic and dangerous world. Players primarily conduct missions to support, supply, or build a series of encampments or communities. NPCs in the player’s camp also add abilities and strengths to the camp as a whole and NPCs that are considered “friends” are characters the player can actually control.
While certainly not as pretty as The Last of Us, nor expected to be as engaging of a narrative, State of Decay‘s approach to the genre and gameplay in general sounds very fresh and promising. The game has shipped without any multiplayer capability, though the developers have hinted (but not promised) that multiplayer co-op will be forthcoming. It seems obvious as the game has a number of the prerequisites baked in already.