Project Zomboid is an open-world survival horror game that’s been stuck in development limbo for some time. Why is Project Zomboid still available for early access on Steam when its development seems so delayed and its release date remains unknown? Here’s what we know.
Video games, especially of the open-world variety, can take years to develop. However, publishers often rolls out games for testing prior to release to pluck out any bugs. Project Zomboid is a successful yet odd case as a game that’s still in early access a full 11 years after its original early release. It has a small but tight player base that regularly plays the game and eagerly awaits its full release a decade later.
Project Zomboid looks like a fully-developed zombie game, especially after its massive Build 41 overhaul. But the publisher still has it in early access. So when is Project Zomboid’s release date, or will it always stay under development through continues delays?
Project Zomboid is Indie-Stone’s labor of love in continued development as the company adds regular updates and bug fixes. The game is likely in early access because the developer doesn’t consider it finished yet.
Project Zomboid was given an early release in 2011 and has grown exponentially since. The developer has added tons of updates, mostly coming out on Thursdays in Indie Stone’s infamous “Thursdoids.” Since 2011, the game has run into plenty of significant setbacks as well, including the developer’s laptop containing data and code being stolen. While these hurdles did slow down the development process, they aren’t the reason behind the “early access” tag.
In an interview, a coder and managing director at The Indie Stone Chris Simpson revealed that Project Zomboid is a passion project that has evolved into a success, surpassing the team’s expectations. Instead of rolling out sequels of the same game, the company is focusing on making Project Zomboid the “biggest thing ever,” hence the constant updates.
Weekly blogs and the developer’s strong connection with the player base prove that Project Zomboid is a work in progress. Build 41 is proof that it is actively being worked on, as this was the turning point for the game. New animations, combat techniques, and character overhauls boosted the game’s player count, bringing in fans of open-world games.
Project Zomboid won’t always bear the early access tag as most might think at this point. The developer has clarified that the game is still in development and will have a release date once its developers have achieved specific goals.
This would include every being delivered that the developer has “promised” and that the game is “exactly what [they] want,” at which point the developers will be ready to “move on” from Project Zomboid.
Project Zomboid’s features are aimed at reasonable gaming rigs. Here are the recommended PC specs to run the game on low to average graphics settings. To get decent FPS and performance in Project Zomboid, players must have:
If your PC ticks these requirements, you should be able to play the game, which is currently available on Steam in early access.