Fans of the original Dead Island game could be forgiven if they have completely forgotten about Dead Island 2, a game announced almost six years ago but still alive and kicking according to Koch Media CEO Klemens Kundratitz. Speaking to Games Industry, the topic came up and is almost a running joke by this point considering the troubled path the game has taken so far.
Dead Island 2 has undergone its share of problems since the game has shifted hands so many times. First it was being developed by Techland, the same group who created the first game, but the team moved to a new project, the highly successful Dying Light. In 2012 the game was sent to Yager Developments, and then four years later to Sumo Digital, before again moving this year to Dambuster Studios.
When asked if the numerous moves between developers damaged expectations for Dead Island 2, Kundratitz explains that “Dead Island is a very important brand for us and we've got to get it right. It's just a testimony of our dedication to get it right.”
The response indicates that fans should expect an outstanding game upon release, and not to worry about the numerous changes in developers. However, the reality is that shifting from one developer to another can be challenging, to say nothing of being moved to a fourth development team. It is of course impossible to speculate the state of Dead Island 2 right now, or at any of the points in which it was handed off from one group of people to another.
One of the more recent examples of a similar case would be with Aliens: Colonial Marines. That game is without a doubt one of the biggest blunders within the video game industry in recent memory, and that such a prized and beloved franchise could be treated so poorly shocked consumers and fellow industry workers alike.
There, it was Gearbox that initially worked on the game for four years before handing it off to TimeGate. The problem was that, according to three staffers, Gearbox had actually done almost no work on the game, and instead focused on their other titles, mainly with the Borderlands series. The assets provided were jumbled and had little coherence, and it is not hard to imagine similar issues being present with Dead Island 2, having been passed around from team to team.
Still, Kundratitz states that they want to get the game right, and there is no reason to doubt his statement. This past June a pre-order finally went up for the game with a release date of December 31, 2019, and so we may be far closer to a release that most would think.