Dead Island sells 5 million

2011 zombie action game reaches new sales milestone, publisher criticizes others for focusing on marketing and big budgets.


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Dead Island has sold through over 5 million copies since launch in September 2011, publisher Deep Silver announced today. The game shipped 1 million copies in its first week and 3 million in 90 days.

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In a statement, Deep Silver parent company Koch Media CEO Klemens Kundratitz criticized other publishers for focusing too heavily on things other than gameplay.

"While others focus on ever-increasing development budgets and driving brand messages via ballooning marketing expenditures, Deep Silver stands for hitting the zeitgeist, innovation and fresh gameplay," he said.

Deep Silver recently caught flak for its Dead Island: Riptide Zombie Bait Edition, which features a bloodied and bikini-clad female torso. The company said it is "deeply sorry" for any offense caused by the premium bundle, but did not say if it plans to cancel the offering or not.

Dead Island: Riptide is due out for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on April 23 in the USA and Canada and on April 26 in Europe. The game takes place after a monsoon has ravaged the fictional city of Henderson and jungle settings on the island of Palanai. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Dead Island: Riptide.

A Dead Island film is also in the works at Lionsgate (The Hunger Games, Dogma). Development of the movie will be led by The Mummy producer Sean Daniel and his Sean Daniel Company. Accompanying Daniel on the project will be postproduction leader Stefan Sonnenfeld (Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men: The Last Stand).

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Avatar image for Hurvl

Good for them, but anyone using the word "zeitgeist" to compliment themselves, automatically makes my "pretentious BS"-detector to go wild.

Avatar image for desmondx1

I dont like zombie games but the playability of this game is awesome. The melee combat is so intense!

Cant wait riptide!

Avatar image for franzito

I BET people who got frustrated with the last entries of RE series turned to Dead Island hoping to recover survival horror core elements, like zombies and limited ammo.

Avatar image for Trochero

Anything with ZOMBIES are so popular nowadays. Glowing hot. Seems to be the new 'in thing', makes a great cash cow. Man why didn't I patent this thing,......... Damm. My current fav is the Walking Dead but I really like Plants vs Zombies. So....... what's with US? Is this the beginning of world slowly going brain dead? ........... Ha ha.... Ha ha haaaa. Could someone please pass me the plate of 'Brains Cordon Bleu' I'm hungry! lol

Avatar image for thereal-15-cent

The game had issues, no doubt. But it's still one of my favorite zombie games. It was just rough around the edges. I hope they improve the graphics, voice acting and shooting in future games.

Avatar image for fredwv

who cares how many were shipped?

Avatar image for chronocommander

@fredwv Multiply the number of commenters by 100.

Avatar image for happyemonathan

"While others focus on ever-increasing development budgets and driving brand messages via ballooning marketing expenditures, Deep Silver stands for hitting the zeitgeist, innovation and fresh gameplay,"

Is this guy serious? The game that rode in on the one trailer that everyone thought was amazing and caused so much hype? Then ultimately let a huge group of us gamers down?
The game that had the most broken combat system and crippled its own gameplay?
Innovation does not mean copy/pasting huge chunks of other games into its own core mechanics.

Avatar image for demonic_85

Well it was certainly different, but not always in a good way.

Avatar image for Chaos_Dante_456

For some reason his statement seems a bit hypocritical to me...

Avatar image for DarkSaber2k

That's good I guess, even though the game gets painfully boring after the first act.

Avatar image for aminal85

This is good news, those sales figures guarantee a sequel. Hopefully Techland will take this opportunity to fix all the problems and make the true Dead Island (the game we were all so hyped for).

Avatar image for happyemonathan

@aminal85 There's a sequel coming out his year.

Avatar image for thereal-15-cent

@happyemonathan @aminal85 I don't think Riptide is a complete sequel. It seems to be between a sequel and an expansion from what I've heard. Kind of like the difference between what Halo 4 and Halo ODST were for Halo 3.

Avatar image for thereal-15-cent

@happyemonathan @thereal-15-cent @aminal85 True, but I think this is just a cash-in. I hope the game is good, but the last I heard Techland (Or maybe it was Deep Silver, not sure) was in financial trouble, so I think they're just rushing out a sequel to a popular game. I'm worried that it will be unpolished and filled with glitches.

Avatar image for happyemonathan

@thereal-15-cent @happyemonathan @aminal85

I'd agree with that if they weren't doing a large release for it with a full collectors edition pack (see zombie bait edition)

Avatar image for OneSamTwoCups

Publisher is a bit cocky considering this game was mediocre at best and was decent with a friend. To me, every zombie game is never going to be innovative as the one and only Left 4 Dead. That game topped everything and assured itself no competition with unlimited replay value and an amazing co-op experience. Too bad we'll never see innovation like that ever again in the game industry with zombie games. Dead Island was good at first, but then it felt I was forcing myself to play the game after I left the hotel.

Avatar image for DarkSaber2k

@OneSamTwoCups Left 4 Dead sucked.

Avatar image for grin89

@OneSamTwoCups i actually found dead island more playable then left 4 dead because of the vast amount of content in the game, the crafting system, and the sandbox feel, but they are 2 different types of games. one more of a rpg survival feel, the other a survival shooter with good coop play.

Avatar image for Karmazyn


Avatar image for AP3Xoblivion

This game was ok alone, but once you experience co-op with some friends it really shines. I have plenty of good memories playing this game with friends online. Definitely worth a try for anyone who hasn't yet.

Avatar image for Justinps2hero

I picked it up recently, & although I'm not a massive FP fan, or Zombie or come to think of it hand held weapons fan, I really enjoyed it. Its like Borderlands with blunt/sharp implements instead of a big array of guns.

I had heard that it was glitch ridden, but I've had none. A strong 7/10 for me, well worth ago at a budget price.

Avatar image for wgerardi

I don't understand the love for this game. I tried it two different times and eventually lost interest (especially after leaving hotel area). It was a clunky mess, horrible voice acting, horrible story, upgrades were clunky, ugly to look at (even on PC)... just not a good game.

Avatar image for TrueGB

They're right about one thing: you don't need a big budget, but marketing doesn't hurt. That said, I think they can afford to throw an extra million or so dollars into game testing. There are a couple design decisions and bugs that should have never happened especially with Borderlands around to show them how to do it right.

Avatar image for SlimeSwayze

I recently bought it on Steam for $5. I really enjoyed the game up through the first area in the resort. However, when you get to the small city area, the game just gets tedious and I lost all interest. Definitely worth the $5, but I think it would have been better if they had scaled back the entire experience, and maybe just made the game revolve around a slightly larger version of that opening area, with a few more indoor areas to explore. When a game does a few small things really well, there's no need to stretch the experience too thin, which is what they did.

Avatar image for Tribesmaster

Enjoyed playing co-op in dead island, but it was definitely missing things to make it a great game. Hopefully Riptide is better.

Avatar image for JamesThePrince

Still playing it :)

Avatar image for delete-easycomeeasygo

I got the GOTY on Xbox 360 and well worth it but the Main Characters were all just bad, the game tried so hard to like Jin which she was so stupid, and it had too many Glitches. Deep Silver please don't F%&* up Riptide.

Avatar image for JoiLambell

Found this game was pretty good, keep up the good work and keep showing the "others" how its done.

Avatar image for Deadpool-n

It is a fun game that has its issues. But still, I enjoyed it. I just hope weapons don't break so fast in Riptide.

Avatar image for toecutter00

Deep Silver stands for hitting the zeitgeist, innovation and fresh gameplay," he said. Yes, that and bugs. Massive, game crashing bugs. And who needs an advertising budget when you get free press for releasing offensive collectibles with your deluxe game editions.

Avatar image for beuneus12

my unopened copy has been sitting here since black friday

should i open it?

Avatar image for deactivated-5d495083aed2b

@beuneus12 Why?

Avatar image for kennythomas26

I enjoyed the first game and I'm looking forward to the next installment Riptide.

Avatar image for woomar

its a very good game , but i think they are pretty lucky it has sold this amount of copies.

Avatar image for vicsrealms

The game didn't start out very well when it was first released on Steam. Still, once you got through that it was loads of fun. Especially, if you brought some friends along in the co-op.

Avatar image for Fursnake

Fairly surprised that this sold so many copies, then again it does have zombies in it...

Avatar image for ArataWata

I really tried to give this game a chance but it just couldn't happen, hated every moment of it.

Avatar image for gothic_kane

This game gets alot of hammer, yes its flawed in many places i found places where the scenery tore something chronic on the PS3 version but I found if you put that aside (and took it offline) alot of the so called issues simply disappeared, I enjoyed the game it was a newer approach to Zombie games, I did write a review to this game I think .... but my point is it caught alot of flak but it is a damn good game if you give it a chance. As for the trailer .... I never saw it, bought the game on a whim.

Avatar image for Ledah

Impressive numbers for one of the most "numbers in screen" games out there. And it's curious how they mention the use of marketing, not like Dead Island didn't do something very different that had little to do with the game on that trailer.

Avatar image for Saidrex

yeah, they really focused on gameplay, i can tell by how quick i got bored from swinging oars and other crap at zombies. Took me 30 minutes to hate this game.

Avatar image for burgeg

This game selling well sickens me. It's an absolute disgrace that a game can do well purely because of a blatantly misleading cinematic trailer that was in no way a representation of the actual game. I laughed at the people that hyped the game based on that trailer back then. Now I'm not laughing. It's not funny any more. Now it's just sad.

Avatar image for XThreat

@burgeg yes the trailer may have lied but i still got what i wanted from doing some reasearch, i dont buy a game based on a trailer alone

Avatar image for endorbr

Same story for me. I played it and I enjoyed it but it had a lot of potential that was just never utilized. I don't think it was ever downright boring but it got pretty close some of the time.

Avatar image for BladeStrike1234

Its constantly on sale so....yeah.

Avatar image for endorbr

Dead Island sold 5 million copies... That says something... Not sure what exactly since it wasn't a good game. It wasn't a "bad" game but it certainly wasn't a good game either. Glad I got it cheap.

Avatar image for deactivated-5c60a3d1c2911

One of my faforite games of 2011.

Avatar image for fred0309

5 million copies and i cant find 5 people to play blood bath arena with any time day or night

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