Dead Island 2 is kind of a mystery. Nobody expected it to take this long in development, probably least of all Deep Silver. Nonetheless, it's been about ten years since a sequel to the tropical zombie survival horror game Dead Island appeared. Tons of other zombie games have come and gone in that time. Some might expect Deep Silver to have given up the ghost on Dead Island 2 by now, but apparently, the game is still kicking. Deep Silver insists that its development is ongoing, so there's cause for optimism for the franchise's fans. The continuation of Dead Island as a franchise might still be on the horizon.
It's worth nothing that apparently this is a bit of a pattern for Dead Island. The first Dead Island game also took longer than expected to make, and its future was briefly in doubt. It's odd that this would happen twice in a row, especially considering that Dead Island 2 is in very different hands from the first game. Even so, Dead Island seems to be having a second stroke of bad luck. Although the first Dead Island game managed to push through its troubles, fans are starting to doubt that Dead Island 2 will ever see the light of day.
Dead Island was first announced at E3 2006, and made a lot of waves there. Developer Techland and publisher Deep Silver showed up with a trailer for the game that stirred up some controversy, but although not everyone was fond of the trailer's subject matter, many agreed it was a good teaser, and it got Dead Island lots of attention. Unfortunately, the game struggled to come together. It took until 2011 for Dead Island to release. The game lingered in silence for much of its five year development. Apparently Deep Silver asked Techland not to share information on the game for much of its development; fans thought the game might have been cancelled, but ultimately it came out to the relief of many.
Dead Island 2's life story features a lot of the same plot points. Dead Island 2 was formally announced at E3 2014 with plans to release the following year, but those plans didn't materialize. Instead, the game switched developers multiple times, and ended up going silent. Once again, fans couldn't help wondering if the game got cancelled, but Deep Silver has tried to assuage those fears. What sets Dead Island 2 apart from its predecessor is that it's taken about twice as long to make. Deep Silver may say that the game is still in progress, but fans probably won't be totally convinced until they see a proper update.
It could be that Dead Island's first round of development hell is what's made Deep Silver willing to commit to the game for the long haul a second time. It could have seen that the franchise has potential, and wants to ensure that it gets another chance. Committing to a game that's stuck in development isn't easy for a publisher; it can be a major financial drain to keep backing a project that just isn't working. However, if Deep Silver and Dambuster Studios are still working on Dead Island 2, then maybe it's finally working out.
Dead Island has come a long way as a franchise since its first installment. Its had plenty of ups and downs, but seemingly it's still kicking. Maybe Deep Silver is intentionally channeling the franchise's difficult history and trying to defy that. If that's the case, that's probably great for Dead Island 2's future. The best games are developed with lots of passion for the project, and commitment in spite of adversity is a clear sign of passion. Dead Island 2 has lots of potential in the modern age of high-powered consoles. Hopefully it lives to take advantage of its potential the way the first game did.