Perfect Dark and State of Decay 3 Are on Track for Gameplay Deep Dives Within 18 Months – Matt Booty

Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty says the first party teams are aware that the expectation going forward will be to showcase gameplay for their titles.

At the Xbox Games Showcase earlier this week, Microsoft provided updates on a number of games that were initially announced years ago but had gone into complete radio silence since then, with prominent titles like Fable and Avowed re-emerging after long absences with in-engine footage and gameplay footage respectively.

But of course, you don’t need to look at Microsoft’s slate of announced first party games for too long to realize that as things stand, that’s just a drop in the bucket. The Xbox Game Studios banner collectively has a number of games in the pipeline that were announced years ago but haven’t been heard from a single time since their reveals- so when can we expect similar gameplay updates for those?

While it’s hard to say how long it’ll be before we have concrete details on all games in that group, at least a few seem to be gearing up for gameplay reveals in the next year and a half. Speaking recently with Giant Bomb, Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty touched on the topic, and explained that he’s “cautiously confident” that the likes of State of Decay 3 and Perfect Dark will be ready to do gameplay deep dives within the next 18 months.

“As I look ahead to 2024, everything that we’re going to ship, I’ve seen builds of, like very recently, or played them,” Booty said. “I’ve said this before, there’s so much stuff in Fable where, when I get with [Turn 10 Studios head] Alan [Hartman], I’m just like, ‘why don’t you show this and this and this?’ and [he goes], ‘no, no’. Because there’s a lot of cool stuff in that game that I’m excited about.

“As I think ahead even as we get into 2025, we’ve seen builds of games at The Initiative, I know, just because [Undead Labs] are there in Seattle, what’s going on with State of Decay 3. We’ve seen these things. So as I look ahead to the next 18 months in terms of what we’re going to be able to show and deliver and do that kind of gameplay [reveal], I’m cautiously confident. Because the teams are hard at work, and they get that that’s kind of the bar now, which is, ‘let’s show it, let’s show up with gameplay and do a deeper dive when we show up.’”

Perfect Dark, which is currently in development at The Initiative, was announced with a CG trailer back in December 2020, and though reports have claimed since then that the game has hit some road bumps behind the scenes, co-developer Crystal Dynamics assured earlier this year that production was moving along well. The developer recently also stated that Perfect Dark’s development wouldn’t be impacted by its parent company Embracer Group’s restructuring program.

Meanwhile, State of Decay 3 was announced a few months before Perfect Dark in July 2020, also with a CG trailer, which, again, was the last we saw of it. Developer Undead Labs said at the time that the game was in early pre-production. Last year, it was confirmed that Gears of War developer The Coalition was providing assistance with Unreal Engine 5, which State of Decay 3 is being built on.

Of course, where these two games (and others like them) might show up is another question. Common wisdom would suggest that Microsoft will want to reserve these showcases for next year’s Xbox Games Showcase, but with the likes of The Game Awards and Gamescom to first party streams like Developer_Direct from earlier this year, there are plenty of other suitable stages for such reveals.