Remember Dead Island 2? (opens in new tab) Announced in 2014, the undead action game was later delayed, switched developers (twice), and then fell off the map (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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.
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.