There's development hell and then there's whatever Dead Island 2 is currently going through.
Dead Island 2 is a sequel to 2011's Dead Island, by Techland. It's reportedly been in development since 2012, a year after the initial title released. However, it wasn't until E3 2014 that the game was officially announced.
Unfortunately, since being announced in 2014 and Deep Silver, the game's publisher, assuring us that the game is in development, Dead Island 2 has yet to release. Instead, all we have to go on, for now, is that the game has spent the past couple of years switching developers with no substantial progress to show let alone a potential release date.
However, according to an eagle-eyed fan, Dead Island 2 is finally gaining some traction.
The Good News for Dead Island 2 Hopefuls
According to MauroNL on Twitter, the game's most recent developer, Dambuster Studios, is currently on the lookout for a Senior Product for a next-gen and PC title. Although they did not specify that this listing was for Dead Island 2, it did specify that they were working on an "established AAA title" and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to put the pieces together.
Dead Island 2 is moving to a release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC only. Current developer Dambuster Studios lists the game for "Next Gen Consoles and PC platforms". The studio is also hiring for programmers with experience in DirectX 12 and DirectX Ray Tracing.
— MauroNL (@MauroNL3) March 1, 2021
Dambuster Studios currently has no other project that they are confirmed to be working on outside of Dead Island 2.
If this is indeed the case, then it will likely be a year or two before Dead Island 2 will release. This will give the developers enough time to focus their efforts towards making the game support next-gen versions.
Of course, you might want to take this rumor with a grain of salt. After all, this has not been confirmed as of yet. It is still possible that Dead Island 2 will come to older consoles despite what the listing seems to suggest.
The Curious Case of Dead Island 2
You'd think that a game revealed at an event like E3 2014 and with a publisher like Deep Silver on the helm would have released already. This is why Dead Island 2 is so interesting.
After its E3 2014 reveal, Dead Island 2 saw Yager Development pulled off with the reigns being given to Sumo Digital in 2016. Then, three years later, the developers of the PS5 launch title Sackboy: A Big Adventure, was sacked. Replacing them was Dambuster Studios, which is a name that might not resonate with a lot of fans.
Worry not though, as the developers are actually quite good. In fact, they're some of the best.
Dambuster Studios was founded by Deep Silver in 2014. It is composed of former Crytek UK employees, who, prior to shutting down, had worked on FPS titles Crysis 2 and Crysis 3, as well as Warface. They also worked on Homefrunt: The Revolution.
Hopefully, their rumored decision to Dead Island 2 a next-gen exclusive leads to good things.
As we've already mentioned, doing so will give developers more time to make the game play better on more powerful consoles. They no longer have to make sure that it supports the older hardware of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
This will give Dambuster Studios a chance to flex their skills and work on an ambitious project with visuals in line with their previous works.
Curiously enough, the Techland, who developed the first Dead Island, is currently going through their own issues. Dying Light 2, the sequel to the spiritual successor of Dead Island, Dying Light, is currently delayed indefinitely.