Dead Island 2 was announced way back in 2014 during Microsoft’s E3 presentation and since then we have seen absolutely nothing of the game. That is because development of the title has been rather troubled.
Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager were on programming duties to begin with, taking over from the creators of the first game, Techland. In April 2015 it was announced the game had been delayed until the following year, but by July of 2015 Yager had been dropped altogether and the project was in limbo.
Techland offered to take over the project, with the caveat that it was substantially different to their own in-house zombie hit, Dying Light. “It’s a title that we imagined, we developed,” said Techland’s Tymon Smektala. “We made this game and we still have a very strong connection to that IP. I personally would love to go back to Dead Island because I really love that game. I think there is a place for both franchises to strive in the market.”
“As long as someone would be able to find something that would make them different, that would draw a clear line, ‘Okay, here’s Dead Island, here’s Dying Light’, and I think that’s doable, then why not?”
However, Techland did not get the job, instead the title was passed on to Britain’s racing specialists, Sumo Digital.
“Sumo showed so much understanding of the brand, had creative ideas and an excellent, vision that was aligned with our own,” Koch Media CEO Dr Klemens Kundratitz told MCV. “It just made perfect sense for us to move the project to them. We will reveal more details at a later stage, but for now I’d like to say that we are obviously super excited about the progress that we are making with them.”
The last official statement from Deep Silver, who were bought by THQ Nordic during the games development, was back in 2017. “Dead Island 2 is in development at Sumo Digital, and we are excited by the progress the team are making with Deep Silver’s most successful IP. When we are ready to share more information, we will,” they stated.
Which brings us up to date along with a new listing for the game on the Microsoft Store. Dead Island 2 is listed for Xbox One with a release date of December 31st, 2019, obviously a place holder. With E3 around the corner and the original reveal on the Microsoft stage we could well be in for a re-reveal next week courtesy of Xbox.
A recent THQ financial report also listed the game for PS4 and PC so we’re not expecting Microsoft to nab it as an exclusive.
Here’s the original trailer which, fortunately for the developers, contained no gameplay.