Yager, the company behind the fantastic Spec Ops: The Line, have been relieved of their responsibility in developing Dead Island 2.
Deep Silver had this to say on the matter:
“With Dead Island 2, Deep Silver has always been dedicated to delivering the sequel that Dead Island fans deserve. After careful consideration, today we announce the decision to part ways with development partner YAGER. We will continue working towards bringing our vision of Dead Island 2 to life, and we will share further information at a later stage.”
The first signs of the fissure between the two studios was the sporadic movement of release dates. The game debuted at E3 2014 with a dreaded ‘cinematic trailer.’ You know, one of those things that tells us nothing about the actual product? Well, after that, YAGER told us to expect a Spring 2015 release. A promise that was later shattered by Deep Silver when they pushed the game back to 2016.
Dead Island had Techland’s grubby finger prints all over it, and fans were excited for YAGER’s planned change in direction for the series. Techland then took their vision to Warner Brothers, who then helped publish Dying Light. A decision that Techland likely replied to by exclaiming, “Master has given Techland a game!” Techland took the mechanics of Dead Island and added free-running and day-night cycles. YAGER placed their focus on the multiplayer aspects of the game instead, making plans for eight player drop-in co-op, massive crafting options and huge quest-lines.
However, all of these features are now passing fancies; we have no more real information other than that YAGER are no longer involved. We don’t know if Deep Silver will bring in another company to pick up YAGER’s pieces, or if they will build the game again from the ground up. We also have no idea what caused the decision to dump YAGER, was it argument of artistic vision? Was there not a big enough money pile for YAGER’s vision? Or did Deep Silver tell YAGER that their logo looks like the hybrid baby of Netherrealm and No Fear. Whatever it was, it has shaken up the future for Dead Island 2.