State of Decay developer Undead Labs will not bring multiplayer to the recently released open-world game, according to an update on the game's forums by executive producer Jeff Strain.
Strain explained that the undertaking would be difficult and time-consuming and impede the developer's ability to support other aspects of the game.
"We could 'check the box' and shoehorn multiplayer in sooner than that, but it wouldn't be a great experience, and certainly not one we'd be proud of," Strain wrote. "It's not simply a matter of adding the technology, but also redesigning core game systems to support multiple players, and then adding new content designed for people to play together. It's easy to imagine how all that would come together — as many have said, the game is practically begging for it — but retrofitting the game to add that experience would take the rest of this year, and well into the next. Worse, it would preclude our ability to offer any other kind of support for the game, including Title Updates and DLC."
During development, Undead Labs cut a cooperative multiplayer mode, a decision the studio is still "bleeding over," founder Jeff Strain told Polygon last month. There was some hope that the mode could be incorporated as downloadable content post-release, but a tweet on the developer's official account yesterday said that adding multiplayer looked "unlikely."
Strain said that, although multiplayer didn't make it into State of Decay, the developer plans to make it a part of future entries in the series.
"We want to see a multiplayer State of Decay as badly as you do, but it's not feasible to retrofit it into the existing game," Strain wrote. "That said, I can say definitively that co-op multiplayer will be the absolute heart of any future State of Decay games. As many of you know, we've always had ambitious plans for the future of State of Decay, and those plans have not changed."