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Dead Island 2 has a new developer

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No disrespect to Techland, but I thought Dead Island was rubbish. The zombie apocalypse sandbox was filled to the brim with great ideas, but it fell flat in its execution (and it wasn’t helped much the frightening number of bugs).

The game made a big, big splash though, thanks to its unbelievable trailer – something that, in truth, probably did more to hurt the game once it was released than it should have. For the most part, Techland made up for its faults with the excellent Dying Light – which perfected the formula.

Given how good Dying Light is, trying to do the same sort of thing is a daunting prospect. Dead Island 2 needs to be amazing.

Unfortunately, it’s been in a bit of a development debacle. Originally announced at E3 in 2014, Publisher Deep Silver went on to drop the game’s developer. That developer was Yager, the folk behind the Spec Ops: The Line.

“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,” the publisher said last year. ”We will continue working towards bringing our vision of Dead Island 2 to life, and we will share further information at a later stage.”

Nearly six months later, the game finally has one. Sumo Digital, the guys behind LittleBigPlanet 3, and one of my favourite Kart racing games ever Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed is the new lead on Dead Island 2.

“Sumo showed so much understanding of the brand, had creative ideas and an excellent, vision that was aligned with our own,” Koch Media CEO Dr. Klemens Kundratitz told MCV.

“It just made perfect sense for us to move the project to them. We will reveal more details at a later stage, but for now I’d like to say that we are obviously super excited about the progress that we are making with them.”

While this does mean we probably won’t be getting a new Sonic racing game any time soon, I’m really keen to see what Sumo can do with the Dead Island licence.

“It’s an honour to be charged with the evolution of such an important franchise in Deep Silver’s catalogue,” said Sumo COO Paul Porter. “We’re looking forward to exceeding fan expectation with an ambitious design that we’re confident will take bone-crunching, visceral, zombie action to a whole new level.”

This, obviously, means Dead Island 2’s release goalposts have been moved further back – but if you want in on the Dead Island action, there’s a Definitive Edition of the first game and its quasi-sequel coming to the PS4 and Xbox One this year.

Last Updated: March 10, 2016

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