Speaking to Polygon, Undead Labs co-founder Jeff Strain has offered a bit more insight on State of Decay's forthcoming survival sandbox mode, which could be released for a fee if Microsoft deems this appropriate. He also chatted briefly about the game's missing multiplayer component, and the possibility of a sequel for Xbox One.
The multiplayer would have supported "sandbox-type" and real-time strategy missions, recounting events that aren't tied to the main story. "We're still bleeding over it," Strain commented of the mode's omission. "That was a tough one to let go of." Undead Labs has a concept for a State of Decay MMO, known as "class 4", though development of the latter has yet to commence.
As for the "pure survival" sandbox mod, it'll give you freedom to roam the evolving world and complete tasks as you please. Expect new tools that measure and score progress - how long you keep certain characters alive, for example, how effective you are at gathering supplies, and how well you maintain the community's health. Alas, it doesn't sound like there's a community-less "lone wolf" mode in the offing.
Strain took a moment to defend Microsoft against the oft-heard charge that it "hates" indies. "Microsoft, to their great credit, was infected by our vision," he said of the manufacturer's response to Undead Labs' initial pitch. "I understand there is some frustration out there about Microsoft [Studios], and in particular their support of indie developers. They took a chance on this game: it steps well outside of the traditional console experience, and it's not a safe game to bet on."
As for State of Decay 2, it's not definitely happening, but it'll definitely release on the new Xbox if it does. "If we do a full sequel to the game, it wouldn't be on currently existing hardware. We don't know what the future of State of Decay is right now, the IP, the franchise... Clearly if there's a full sequel, it would be on Xbox One. But I can't comment beyond that."
Microsoft's Phil Spencer has expressed enthusiasm for an Xbox One version of State of Decay. There's a new State of Decay update on the way this week - hit the link for full details.