Dead Island 2 reportedly coming back from the (un)dead later this year

A new report claims the Dead Island 2 is at long last gearing up to escape from development hell.

According to the usually reliable Tom Henderson, writing over at Try Hard, sources close to the project believe the co-op zombie game, stuck in limbo for nearly a decade, will reemerge into public view by the end of this year. One source pointed to The Game Awards, slated for this December, as the natural venue for the game’s re-reveal.

Henderson’s story claims that the game will still take place across California and focus on cooperative zombie slaying but has, perhaps predictably, undergone some significant changes since we last saw it. The cast of playable characters reportedly consists of five or six new characters, with the old roster entirely gone.

Deep Silver first announced Dead Island 2 way back at E3 2014, with a now-infamous prerendered trailer depicting the sunny new setting. A few months later, the publisher showed off early gameplay at Gamescom in August 2014—and that remains the latest footage we’ve seen, almost exactly eight years later.

The news since then has all been of the not-good variety. Deep Silver pulled original developer Yager off the game in 2015 and gave the project to Sumo Digital. It dumped that studio in 2019 and tasked Dambuster Studios with getting the game back on track.

If Dead Island 2 does indeed rise again, it would be one of the lengthier comebacks in gaming history. It wouldn’t quite match the decade-plus waits for Duke Nukem Forever (announced in 1997 and released in 2011) or Final Fantasy XV (announced in 2006 and released in 2016), but it’d come close.

There’s no official word on when Dead Island 2 might finally launch. It was originally pegged for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, but we can probably expect to see those platforms updated if and when the game returns.

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