Is Dead Island 2 still alive?
The answer is yes, for now. Deep Silver & THQ Nordic’s most recent earnings report announced that Nottingham based Deep Silver Dambuster Studios (formerly Crytek UK, formerly Free Radical Design) have “entrusted” with Dead Island 2 and any future titles. Naturally another developer change has led to a mixed response from fans of the game on social media, and only time will tell if the game will hit or mark, or shelves for that matter…
First announced back in 2014 and now onto its 3rd developer since then, it’s safe to say that the road to release has been as rocky as the locations you found yourself scrawling around in the first game, but is there a silver lining with this latest developer? Looking at the Dambuster Studios’ history it is possible. Under their current name, Deep Silver Dambuster Studios they have only released one title… the 2015 sequel Homefront: The Revolution (make of this what you will). However under previous names, Free Radical Design bought us the unforgettable TimeSplitters franchise and as Crytek UK they delivered the equally impressive Crysis series as well as Xbox One launch title, Ryse son of Rome.
Previous developer, Sumo Digital took over in 2016 and in that time has worked on a number of titles including Forza Motorsport 7 & Forza Horizon 4, Hitman 2, and most recently Sonic Team Racing and Crackdown 3. They have seen success for their work on the motorsport titles, but have also received rather underwhelming public response for Crackdown 3 in particular.
All too often game developers are judged on their most recent work, and in one respect they are right to be, but Dambuster Studios has over 20 years of experience and a history of delivering and nurturing successful game franchises… The questions are, will they nurture or kill off Dead Island 2, and is it just too late for the game 5 years after its announcement?
There has been no official comment from Deep Silver or THQ Nordic as to the reason for the developer change.
There was some other exciting news that came from the Deep Silver & THQ Nordic earnings report. The announcement of a new Saints Row game in the works by Deep Silver developers Volition, and THQ Nordic have appointed one of the original TimeSplitters creators, Steve Ellis, who returns to oversee the future development of the recently acquired franchise… watch this space!