State of Decay Dev's New Game Is a Pokemon-Esque RPG Called Moonrise

Undead Labs' new mobile game looks nothing like State of Decay, which has not been shelved in favor of Moonrise.

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Update: Today's announcement was unclear about whether Moonrise would be free-to-play, but Kabam has confirmed with GameSpot that is indeed the case. Given the publisher's history, that doesn't come as much of a surprise.

Original Story: As promised, Undead Labs has announced its newest game today, and it's awfully different from the open-world zombie game, State of Decay, for which it is best known. Moonrise is described as a multiplayer-centric, "creature-collection RPG" that is coming to mobile devices.

Being an RPG that involves creatures, the obvious comparison that comes to mind is Pokemon, and like Nintendo's franchise, Moonrise will allow you to collect hundreds of creatures called Solari that can "grow and evolve into even more exciting forms." The Solari can then be used in combat--but unlike Pokemon, Moonrise's battles take place in real-time.

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According to Undead founder Jeff Strain, real-time combat is one of several elements that give Moonrise--which sounds so different from State of Decay--the style of an Undead-developed game. In a blog post announcing the game, Strain called attention to a "focus on systems-driven content" and a "sophisticated progression mechanics" as two such examples. He also mentioned "a few bold design choices," but real-time combat was the only one he mentioned specifically.

As fans of Undead may be concerned by the prospect of it making a game for mobile devices--and working with extremely successful publisher Kabam, known for its free-to-play games like Kingdoms of Camelot and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth--Strain offered some reassurance about the studio's approach to Moonrise. "[L]ike every game we will ever make, Moonrise is a gamer-focused game, meaning it's developed for people like us--passionate gamers who expect our time and money to be treated with respect," he wrote. "It's also fully an Undead Labs game in terms our complete commitment to the player community and long-term support for the game."

Strain also reassured fans who might be worried about what this means for the future of State of Decay. Undead signed a multi-year, mutli-title deal with Microsoft earlier this year, and while Strain says he still can't talk about specifics, he did suggest multiple "things" are coming that "will be exciting to State of Decay fans."

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However, as these things require a good deal of time for a variety of reasons--including time for "new platforms to mature," perhaps referring to the Xbox One--Undead isn't ready to show off anything else yet. A separate team was put together to work on Moonrise, meaning State of Decay wasn't shelved in order to create this new game.

Moonrise will be "initially available" on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. It will be released in beta this fall before it launches in full in "early 2015." We'll get our first look at the game later this month at PAX Prime, scheduled to run August 29-September 1.

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