After more than a decade in development and passing through the hands of multiple studios, Dead Island 2 is finally set to release on April 21, a week earlier than previously announced. This game is an RPG centered around zombies, and its development journey has been a rocky one. In the end, however, developer Dambuster Studios suggests that the development setbacks have actually benefited the game’s reception, at least to some extent.
Originally announced at E3 in 2014, the development of Dead Island 2 began sometime in 2012 under the direction of studio Techland, but the studio preferred focusing on developing Dying Light instead. This prompted publisher Deep Silver to search for a new studio to take the helm, and Yager Development, creators of Spec Ops: The Line, stepped up to the plate.
Not long after the game’s announcement in 2014, Yager began development and showcased the game at a couple of conventions. However, the studio didn’t stay on the project for long, and in July 2015, Deep Silver cut ties with Yager Development. The game then remained lifeless until studio Sumo Digital, creators of Hood: Outlaws & Legends, took over development in March 2016. Yet again, however, the studio didn’t remain for long as it passed off the game to Homefront: The Revolution’s creators, Dambuster Studios.
In total, Dead Island 2 has been worked on by four different studios over the course of more than a decade, making its development history quite tumultuous. Technical Director Dan Evans-Lawes admits that the game’s long road to release caused concerns over its potential success, but he also emphasizes that the game’s development struggles have generated a sense of curiosity and goodwill surrounding the game’s eventual release.
As a result of the game’s various development hands, Dead Island 2 underwent a restart once Dambuster Studios took over development. However, not everything was scrapped. The Los Angeles location and some other elements remained intact, which the studio saw as an opportunity to have a crazy and diverse cast of characters fitting into the iconic location.
Overall, though, most things in Dead Island 2 were rebuilt from the ground up. Evans-Lawes even said that it was, “basically a complete restart.” Though the game has faced many setbacks and started over more than once, it appears that Dambuster Studios is well on its way, with a release date in sight. After overseeing the game’s development since August 2019, the studio is ready to see their work finally come to fruition.
The Impact of Development Hell
Dead Island 2 is a game that has been in development for over ten years and has traversed the hands of multiple studios before reaching its final destination. As a result, one might assume that development hell has been detrimental to the game. However, Dan Evans-Lawes argues that this narrative is not entirely true.
According to Evans-Lawes, Dead Island 2’s development history has created a sense of curiosity around the game’s eventual release, as audiences are curious to see how the game performs after its tortuous journey. He says that it has generated a sense of goodwill surrounding the game’s eventual release. However, the question remains: Will the game’s development history impact its reception?
Only time will tell. For now, we should focus on the upcoming release of Dead Island 2 and let Dambuster Studios’ hard work speak for itself. Regardless of the game’s reception, it is clear that this game will always be remembered for its challenging development history, a story that is sure to inspire other studios in similar situations.
Dead Island 2’s development history is one that will likely not soon be forgotten. A game that has passed through the hands of multiple studios and had to restart from scratch, Dead Island 2 is finally nearing its release date. Though its troubled journey has certainly raised concerns about its eventual success, it has also generated a sense of curiosity and goodwill around its launch.
Now, we await the game’s release and hope that it will live up to its potential. Ultimately, that’s all that matters. Dead Island 2 is an exciting new game in a beloved genre, and we can’t wait to see what happens when it finally hits store shelves.