Dead Island 2 dev delays the game once more for old times’ sake

The long-in-development Dead Island 2, originally announced in 2014 for a release the following year, and changing development studios twice since then, has been delayed once more. Publisher Deep Silver and developer Dambuster Studios announced the zombie game’s latest delay on Thursday, acknowledging the black humor of Dead Island 2’s latest — and hopefully final — setback.

“The irony of delaying Dead Island 2 is not lost on us, and we are as disappointed as you undoubtedly are,” the publisher and developer said in a statement posted to Twitter. “The delay is just 12 short weeks and development is on the final straight now; we’re going to take the time we need to make sure we can launch a game we’re proud to launch. For those of you who’ve been waiting for years, thank you for hanging in there with us.”

Dead Island 2’s new release date is April 28, 2023. Next month, Dambuster promises to release “an exciting new trailer and gameplay” at a Dead Island 2 showcase scheduled for Dec. 6 on Twitch and YouTube.

It has taken Deep Silver a decade and three developers to get here. After Techland, creator of the original Dead Island and its stand-alone expansion Riptide, decided to follow its own path with the Dying Light series, Deep Silver tapped Yager (Spec Ops: The Line) to develop a sequel. In 2015, Yager was dropped by Deep Silver, apparently over creative differences. U.K. studio Sumo Digital (LittleBigPlanet 3, Crackdown 3) took over, and worked on Dead Island 2 in silence for two to three years. Sumo, too, was ditched and in 2019, Deep Silver announced that development had been switched to an internal team: Homefront: The Revolution developer Dambuster Studios.

Polygon played the latest version of Dead Island 2 this summer, and in our preview of the game, wrote, “It’s a far cry from the exhilarating, freewheeling, open-world traversal of Dying Light 2. But maybe that’s the point, and maybe it’s no bad thing. Keeping Dead Island 2’s feet on the ground and keeping it simple might be the best way to move on from its difficult past.”

Dead Island 2 is bound for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X next year.