Dead Island 2 might actually be out by early 2023

Dead Island 2
(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Remember Dead Island 2? Announced in 2014, the undead action game was later delayed, switched developers (twice), and then fell off the map in a very literal sense. For a while, it was an annual tradition for publisher Deep Silver to insist that the game is still in development; in 2021 it came to light that Dead Island 2, if it ever actually happens, will be an Epic Games Store exclusive.

Despite the silence on Dead Island 2 in recent years, it's possible that it could actually turn up in the relatively near future. During a Q&A session following its Q3 FY2021/22 report, CEO Lars Wingefors appeared to indirectly hint that it's expected to be out sometime in the company's 2023 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2023.

"People have sort of written off [Dead Island 2], not knowing if it's still alive. But it very clearly is," the Q&A host, Carnegie equity research analyst Oscar Erixon, said. "I, at least, expect the release this financial year—sorry, next financial year, I should say. Is that reasonable? What can we expect from the title? It's been in development for probably ten years or so."

Wingefors refused to take the bait directly, but addressed the inquiry in what appeared to be an overtly wink-and-nod fashion. "I can't talk about Dead Island 2 because it's not announced, as such, from the publisher, but we have just talked about—we have one unannounced triple-A title that you think is Dead Island 2," he said, looking meaningfully at the host. "It's hard for me to comment further on that. But I'm excited about unannounced titles."

And then everyone had a knowing laugh, and the conversation moved on.

Dead Island 2 is definitely still a thing, at least in the sense that it hasn't been formally cancelled by Embracer or Deep Silver: It appears in Embracer's Q3 report as an "announced release," and also appears on the Koch Media section of Embracer's financial presentation, alongside the Saints Row reboot, Payday 3, Shadow Warrior 3, and Crossfire Legion. 

(Image credit: Embracer Group)

There's no sign of a date there, but to my eye, Wingefors' demeanor—which you can see for yourself beginning at 1:51:15 of the video—at the very least suggests that FY2023 isn't a bad bet.

Update: Deep Silver confirmed in an email sent to PC Gamer that Dead Island 2 is still a go, but did not comment on the possibility of a 2023 release. "We have confirmed that the game is in active development and will share more details once we are ready," a company rep said.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.