Undead Labs' rookie effort State of Decay has hit another milestone. The studio has announced that the open-world zombie game has now sold over two million copies across PC and Xbox 360.
"There just aren’t the right words to tell you how much this means to us," said Undead Labs' Sanya Weathers on the company blog. "No marketing, no advertising, just you playing and streaming and spreading the word. You made this happen, and if we could individually thank each person who hit that download button, we would. Your enthusiasm and support have been everything. Thank you."
State of Decay lets players lead a group of survivors following a zombie outbreak. After securing a home base, they must make regular supply runs to maintain their stockpile of food and medicine. They'll also have to fend off the zombie hordes, which include special undead with bizarre mutations. While managing these tasks, players will be trying to find a way to escape the zombie-infested valley for good.
The game debuted on Xbox Live last summer and quickly caught on with Xbox 360 owners. They bought half a million copies in less than a week. Sales continued to grow following the PC release that fall.
It's interesting to wonder why one game flourishes from word-of-mouth while others go largely ignored. In the case of State of Decay, I think the open-ended structure of the game helped a great deal. The combination of random events and permadeath for playable characters mean that one player's campaign might turn out very differently than another's. Players come away with abundant war stories that they can share on Reddit or forums. This led the game to have far more reach than the typical new IP from an untested studio.
Undead Labs now wants to hit a new milestone with State of Decay: 2 million minutes' worth of State of Decay podcasts, videos and streams throughout October. If the player community hits that goal, the studio will give one gamer a trip to Seattle to meet the developers. This winner will also be the first to try out State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition. Other prizes will be announced throughout the month and will be awarded regardless of whether the 2 million minute goal is achieved.
While pursuing the 2 million goal, Undead Labs hopes you'll join their fund-raising drive through Extra Life. If you stream as part of their Extra Life team, you'll earn 1.5 times the normal amount of minutes toward the goal. Should you participate in the 24-hour gaming marathon on October 25th, you'll earn twice as many minutes. A minute will be added to the total for each dollar raised.
"Extra Life team members who raise any amount at all will each get a DLC code to keep or give away as a prize."
If you're interested in participating in their 2 million minute challenge, you can find the instructions here.