In July of 2015, almost exactly a year after it was originally revealed at E3, publisher Deep Silver announced that Spec Ops: The Line studio Yager Development would no longer be working on Dead Island 2. Citing differing visions as the core reason for the fallout, Deep Silver quickly set up the undead sequel at an unnamed studio, all the while delaying the title into 2016.
But now that the dust has somewhat settled following the change of guard, Yager has spoken up about the ramifications of the changeover, describing the knock-on effect as “catastrophic” considering that development on Dead Island 2 was so far along when news first broke.
Speaking candidly with GamesIndustry International, Managing Director Timo Ullmann was accepting of the final decision, but admitted that parts of the core team of the German-based studio were shell-shocked after learning the news.
“Having a project cancelled in such a late state is a catastrophic event on so many different levels. It really is the worst possible outcome. Everybody involved loses.”
Given the fact that Yager had carved out a “single-purpose” division specifically for creating Dead Island 2 and bringing the action-packed follow-up to life, it’s understandable that news of the team being removed was devastating.
“I really don’t blame them, and we wish them all the best,” he said. “It’s tough, and not being given the chance to finish Dead Island 2, that… that hurts, you know? Right after the announcement a part of the team was a bit shell-shocked, of course, but you have to motivate yourself to keep going. Cancellation of projects, especially if the stakes are so high, is not unheard of. It hurt us, yes, but it happens.”
In lieu of Dead Island 2, Yager is now shifting resources to is now working on a space combat game called Dreadnaught. It’ll launch on PC in 2016. As for Deep Silver’s troubled undead sequel, it’s still slated for a release across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2016.