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Dead Island 2 Dev Says Development Hell Actually Helped

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After years of delays and a revolving door of development studios, Dead Island 2 is finally set to release on April 21, 2023. The developer behind the Game, Dambuster Studios, remains confident that all of this troubled History has in fact given the company something of an advantage, providing “quite a lot of goodwill in the end.”

Dambuster had to basically start from scratch when taking over development, apart from the Los Angeles setting which the company decided to keep. “It was basically a complete restart,” Technical Director on the Game Dan Evans-Lawes recently told Video Games Chronicle. “Obviously, there were some things that had been communicated out already, the setting and things like that, and when we looked at it, the setting was something that we definitely did want to keep. We felt that it was an opportunity to have a really crazy, diverse cast of characters and also it’s a very iconic location, so obviously we wanted to keep that. Other than that, it was totally from scratch.”

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Announced at E3 back in 2014, Dead Island 2 has been passed around between four different studios. Techland was the first developer set to work on the game, but the company later decided to focus on a different project. The game then changed hands multiple times, Yager Development being the second studio to pick up the game followed by Sumo Digital and then finally Dambuster.

“It definitely concerned us at the start,” Evans-Lawes explained. “I remember when we took the project on, I was thinking ‘is this a poisoned chalice,’ you know what I mean? I think, though, that once we announced the Game, people were interested because they knew it had been in ‘development hell’ for however long and I think people were expecting it to be terrible and so we were pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t. And I kind of feel like it’s actually given us quite a lot of goodwill in the end.”

The game’s long development cycle has created high expectations from players, with some even anticipating that Dead Island 2 could be a mess in the wake of so many delays. Dambuster however is confident that all of the hard work put into the project will finally pay off later this year.

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