New Undead Labs Team to Focus on Cross-Studio Animation Technology for Xbox Game Studios

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Undead Labs is creating a new team based in Orlando, Florida, that will focus on the upcoming game State of Decay 3 and cross-studio animation technology to be shared among Xbox Game Studios.

The information comes directly from Simon Sherr, a long time industry veteran who's credited as the animation director of games like Madden, MMA, and other EA Sports titles made with the ANT animation system. Sherr also consulted on the recently released Unreal Engine The Matrix Awakens tech demo.

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According to his LinkedIn profile, as first discovered by Twitter user eXtas1stv, Sherr will be spearheading this new team.

Developing a new Microsoft studio under Undead Labs in Orlando, Florida. Directing animation and Animation Technology in UE5 for Microsoft XGS Undead Labs’ “State of Decay 3” and fostering cross-studio animation technology collaboration and animation technology initiatives across XGS.

This certainly bodes well for State of Decay 3, which was announced to be in early pre-production back in July 2020. State of Decay games always featured subpar animations, mostly due to the relatively low budget Undead Labs had to work with. It does seem like this will be corrected in the third installment, which will be the first developed after Microsoft's acquisition of the studio headquartered in Seattle, Washington. When that happened in 2018, Head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty said the deal would allow the developer to realize its original plan of a much bigger, much more persistent online game.

Still, even if you're not a fan of Undead Labs and State of Decay, the focus on cross-studio animation work across the entirety of Xbox Game Studios means you are likely to see the new technology pop up in other first-party Xbox titles. Advancements in the animation field would surely elevate the gaming medium further, so we'll be keeping a close eye on this one.

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