Last month we reported that Dead Island 2 developer Yager had been dropped from the project by publisher Deep Silver, who stated that its vision of the game and Yager’s had been starting to drift apart. While Deep Silver stresses that the game is still in development, no replacement developer has been announced so far.
While the series’ original developer Techland has since moved on to Dying Light, which eclipsed the Dead Island games in terms of both sales and critical reception, the studio isn’t happy to see its former IP floundering.
“You’re never happy that some other developer failed, because it could have been us, basically,” Techland producer Tymon Smektala told VideoGamer. “And another thing that added to the feeling of sadness and disappointment was the fact that Dead Island is our child. It’s a title that we imagined, we developed. We made this game and we still have a very strong connection to that IP. So it’s very bad news.”
Smektala also has a solution for Deep Silver’s problem of finding a developer for Dead Island 2. He says that Techland would be happy to return to the series – all Deep Silver has to do is ask. But is there room for both Dying Light and Dead Island as franchises?
“I love Dead Island and I think there is a place for both franchises to strive in the market,” Smektala said. “As long as someone would be able to find something that would make them different, that would draw a clear line, ‘Okay, here’s Dead Island, here’s Dying Light’, and I think that’s doable, then why not?”
While Dead Island 2 remains stalled as Deep Silver searches for a developer, Techland is keeping itself busy. Last week the studio announced Dying Light: The Following, an expansion that takes the game out of the city and into the countryside.
Techland is also currently in the early stages of preparing a sequel to the game, which Smektala says the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One may not be able to handle.
Update: Smektala issued a statement stressing that he was talking about his personal opinion.
“After reading through some of the VideoGamer coverage of Dying Light: The Following produced after an interview at Gamescom, I’d like to again clarify that all of the statements I made about Dead Island 2 were my personal opinions only and in no way represent the views of the studio.”
“I am a huge fan of the original Dead Island as a gamer and would love the franchise to thrive, but any decisions regarding possible Techland’s involvement in its franchise are not mine to make, and are never as easy as just “asking”. At the moment I’m focusing on Dying Light: The Following hoping to deliver a great expansion to all the fans of the game.”