Believe it or not, but Dead Island 2 is in fact not dead and still in development. The long-awaited sequel to the first game in the series has been through an arduous development process, but this recent bit of information might suggest that there is light at the end of this tunnel. The developer, Dambuster Studios, has recently posted numerous job listings pertaining to various positions. The most telling one, for Art Director, strongly hints that the game could become a cross-generation game, meaning that it would launch for both current systems and the upcoming ones, most prominently PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
It’s an uncertain time for many, but we are continuing to recruit wherever possible and have a number of roles available.
If you have a minute, take a look at our vacancies: https://t.co/nixyfKfE47
— Dambuster Studios (@DSDambuster) April 9, 2020
In the listing, it states: “This is a fantastic opportunity for you to further your career by leading the art direction on a ground-breaking title for current and future platforms at a genuinely progressive and forward-thinking studio.” While this does seem fairly vague in its context, this is still a strong indicator that Dead Island 2 could become a cross-generation game. We probably won’t see the game become a launch title for either the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X, but it’s more than likely that we’ll see it release well after both consoles are out.
The development for Dead Island 2 has been well documented, which began when the developer for the first game in the franchise, Techland, decided to instead focus on Dying Light and partnered up with Warner Bros. Interactive. This left publisher Deep Silver without a developer, until Yager Development reached an agreement to make the game with an intended 2015 release. The company even made a gameplay trailer for Gamescom 2014 to showcase for everyone, and at the time looked to be good hands.
Then out of nowhere in 2015, Deep Silver announced that Yager had been dropped completely from the project, and would search for another developer to finish the game. According to Yager, the reason for the split was due to what seemed to be creative differences. In an article by Gameinformer, Yager stated: “YAGER and Deep Silver’s respective visions of the project fell out of alignment, which led to the decision that has been made.”
The game changed hands a couple more times, first to the UK studio Sumo Digital in 2016. Then Deep Silver’s parent company, Koch Media, was purchased by THQ Nordic, now known as Embracer Group, essentially ending Sumo’s involvement with the game. Finally in 2019, Embracer announced that Dead Island 2 would continue to be developed by Dambuster Studios, an internal studio of Deep Silver. It’s been an extremely rocky ride, to say the least. As of this writing, there is still no definitive launch date, but if Dambuster can get these positions filled in a timely manner, then hopefully we’ll hear more about the game sooner than later.