Was I The Only Person Who Knew About The ‘Will Smith Zombie Game’?

Last year, a new survival RPG surfaced called Undawn, and bizarrely, the game’s trailer was fronted by none other than Hollywood superstar, Will Smith. In May 2023, Smith inexplicably appeared in a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ trailer for this developing mobile and PC-based survival game, which was slated to be released just a month after the trailer dropped – and reportedly, it had garnered more than two million pre-registrations.

However, according to recent reports, the game bombed monumentally, making just $287,000 against a development budget of $140 million. Surprisingly, this news marked the first time that many gamers had heard of the title – and Smith’s involvement in it. Publications the world over were mindblown that such a project could slip by the global gaming community without a trace.

But I covered Smith’s appearance in the game’s trailer moments after it dropped, which makes me feel like I’m part of some exclusive club.

Undawn Failed Miserably

In a report published by Reuters, it was revealed that Tencent’s Undawn collapsed in on itself in a spectacular fashion. With 300 developers working on the game and coasting through a $140 million budget, there were high expectations that it would deliver – and pre-registration numbers leant heavily into that destiny.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. To date, Undawn has made just $287,000, and it seems as though almost nobody is playing the game. On Steam, the concurrent player count tops out at around 1,000 users a day, and there’s absolutely no traffic regarding this game on any social, streaming, or content creation platforms.

Here’s the trailer featuring Will Smith, in case you (like millions of others) haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about:

In the comments section on the video, most viewers are discussing the fact that this game completely passed them by. Despite being fronted by one of the biggest names in Hollywood, precious few people learned about Undawn’s existence over the last year. There were other titles taking control of the newsfeed, though – Starfield, Spider-Man 2, Baldur’s Gate 3, and The Day Before (lmao), to name a few.

Here’s what I said in my original write-up from May 2023:

Developed by Tencent’s Lightspeed Studios and Level Infinite, Undawn will likely be one of those games that’s popular within its niche but will never make major waves in a general sense. It’s cool and all that Will Smith is on board, but we don’t really know why, other than the suggestion that Tencent is chasing a bit of clout.

I was both wrong and right – it was never popular within its niche but it did fail to make major waves in any respect. If you want to try out Undawn, you’re more than welcome to – it’s available on mobile and PC platforms now.

For more Insider Gaming coverage, check out the news that there’s a Grounded physical edition being released