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Robert Kirkman explains why there's room for new stories in The Walking Dead's universe

John Gaudiosi | March 10, 2015
Skybound Entertainment has had success with The Walking Dead across all mediums.

Skybound Entertainment has had success with The Walking Dead across all mediums.

Robert Kirkman's comic book company has expanded into television with the AMC series, which is now the most popular show in the world. They've also enjoyed the same level of critical and commercial success through the award-winning The Walking Dead series of episodic games from developer Telltale Games. And Skybound has also released its own The Walking Dead: Assault mobile game from Gamagio.

Now Skybound has enlisted Starbreeze to create the first co-op multiplayer game set within The Walking Dead universe. Starbreeze-owned studio Overkill is developing the new game in conjunction with Kirkman and Skybound. The game, which will be released in 2016, is set in Washington, D.C. and will focus on a new cast of characters.

David Alpert, co-founder of Skybound Entertainment, said that Starbreeze is a company he and Kirkman have been gigantic fans of forever, dating back to the first-person shooter, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.

"Butcher Bay was a great video game, it was as true to the underlying movie concept as possible and I enjoyed the game more than the movie," Alpert said. "That's a game we love and respect and we've asked Starbreeze to make this game as true to the universe of The Walking Dead as possible. We wanted to do something different than Telltale Games. It will be a nice balance between what they've been able to do with the Payday games — powerful gameplay experiences where people build their own worlds and go on missions, but setting that inside the experience of The Walking Dead."

With Skybound Entertainment developing a new The Walking Dead TV spin-off with AMC, they're taking a similar approach with the new game when it comes to introducing a completely new cast of characters and a location not yet explored in the original series.

"What's iconic about this franchise isn't Andy (Lincoln) or Norman (Reedus) — they're two of the leads of the show, but the star of the show in our mind is the walking dead itself," Alpert said. "It's an experience."

Kirkman added that fans are really invested in this world and they want to see more of it.

"One of the really cool things about The Walking Dead is that all of the different versions of it are very isolated," Kirkman said. "That gives us a tremendous amount of room to play with and room to expand. The fact that the video game series focuses on completely different characters in a completely different region than the television show and the comic book series is based on shows that we can shine a light on another corner of this universe and tell a story that's just as compelling as the original. Time has shown that people want to see other areas of the country and see how other people are surviving in this world. That's the kind of opportunity we have in the video game space to really dive in deep and show them that stuff."


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