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A New Team At Undead Labs Gets Into Animation Technology

Undead Labs is setting up a new team in Orlando, Florida. Their work will be available to the entire Xbox Game Studios family.

 

No official announcement has been made, but Simon Sherr’s LinkedIn profile has given away the details. Sherr is a games industry veteran who was previously the animation director for EA Sports games using the ANT animation system. Several franchises from Andrew Wilson’s company can be mentioned, such as Madden or MMA. Sherr was also a consultant on the recently released Unreal Engine 5 tech demo The Matrix Awakens for consoles (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series).

The relevant snippet from Sherr’s LinkedIn popped up on Twitter. It reads: “Developing a new Microsoft studio under Undead Labs in Orlando, Florida. Directing animation and Animation Technology in Unreal Engine 5 for Microsoft[‘s] Xbox Game Studio Undead Labs’ State of Decay 3, and fostering cross-studio animation technology collaboration and animation technology initiatives across Xbox Game Studios.”

State of Decay 3 was confirmed to be in pre-production back in July 2020 (a year and a half ago), so development was still in its early stages at the time. The animations of the first two episodes weren’t that good, but, in Undead Labs’ defence, the studio didn’t have a big budget (they weren’t under Microsoft at the time: the Redmond-based team based in Seattle, Washington, was acquired in 2018), so they had to cut some corners, which they did on animation. However, Sherr’s presence could remedy this shortcoming, and Phil Spencer’s team is no slouch when it comes to footing the game development bill.

So Undead Labs is getting into animation, which is not a bad idea. We’ve heard that Microsoft would love to have an engine of their own, and since they have id Tech through Bethesda, they already have it.

Source: WCCFTech

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