Former Dead Island 2 Dev Says Losing Project Was a "Catastrophic" Blow

"Having a project cancelled in such a late state is a catastrophic event on so many different levels."


Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager is no longer working on zombie game Dead Island 2 after the company's vision for the title "fell out of alignment" with publisher Deep Silver's. Now, Yager managing director Timo Ullmann has commented on what effect that move had on the Germany-based studio.

No Caption Provided

"Having a project cancelled in such a late state is a catastrophic event on so many different levels," Ullmann told GamesIndustry International. "It really is the worst possible outcome. Everybody involved loses."

As a result of Yager's removal from Dead Island 2, the company shut down Yager Productions, which was a "single-purpose" division of the company created specifically to work on the game. Many jobs were lost, but the impact on personnel was lightened somewhat by Germany's provision of guaranteeing three months' pay. Other people left on their own accord to start new companies.

"I really don't blame them, and we wish them all the best," he said. "It's tough, and not being given the chance to finish Dead Island 2, that... that hurts, you know? Right after the announcement a part of the team was a bit shell-shocked, of course, but you have to motivate yourself to keep going. Cancellation of projects, especially if the stakes are so high, is not unheard of. It hurt us, yes, but it happens."

Deep Silver announced the decision to part ways with Yager on Dead Island 2 in July.

"After careful consideration, today we announce the decision to part ways with development partner Yager," it said at the time. "With Dead Island 2, Deep Silver has always been dedicated to delivering the sequel that Dead Island fans deserve. We will continue working towards bringing our vision of Dead Island 2 to life, and we will share further information at a later stage."

Deep Silver has not yet announced it which studio would be taking over development duties.

Dead Island 2 was officially announced during Sony's E3 2014 press conference for PlayStation 4. The game is also coming to Xbox One and PC, but its beta will be launched first on PS4.

Yager is now working on a space combat game called Dreadnaught. It's scheduled to launch for PC in 2016.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 95 comments about this story