Now that Yager is no longer working on Dead Island 2, the studio’s managing director, Timo Ullmann, discusses how being removed from the project affects the company.
After Dead Island 2‘s former game developer Yager and its current publisher Deep Silver both gave an explanation saying its visions “fell out of alignment” back in July of this year, Timo Ullmann has been given enough time to process all of the adverse effects that being taken off the project has had for his studio. As it happens, the Yager managing director is now saying the process has been extremely detrimental for everyone involved.
Recently, Ullmann discussed the issue with GamesIndustry.biz, expressing sadness for not only losing the opportunity to finish Dead Island 2, but also for each individual associated with the decision being impacted negatively. Regarding the matter, the Yager managing director said, “Having a project cancelled in such a late state is a catastrophic event on so many different levels. It really is the worst possible outcome. Everybody involved loses.”
When Deep Silver removed Yager from Dead Island 2, the latter was forced to shutter the doors of Yager Productions—that is, the studio’s “single purpose” subsidiary made solely for working on the survival-horror RPG—forcing the division to file for insolvency. A lot of people lost their jobs, and some developers even left Yager willingly to form a new independent outfit called InBetweenGames. Ultimately, Ulmann bears no ill will to those who abandoned ship, saying:
“I really don’t blame them, and we wish them all the best. 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.”
Meanwhile, the Spec-Ops: The Line developer is presently hard at work on a new PC game entitled Dreadnought, which is set to release in 2016. Yager has described the forthcoming project as an aerial dogfighting and combat flight simulator.
Dead Island 2 has presently been in development for a few years, as it was announced with a teaser trailer during E3 2014, but now fans are left to speculate as to whether or not a final product will ever come out. The myriad of delays and on-again, off-again drama involving developers has only increased doubt in gamers’ minds. Plus, with Techland opting to focus on Dying Light with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment instead of continuing its plans to work on Dead Island 2 with Deep Silver, it’s a wonder if the German game publisher is simply a business partner that’s difficult to please.
What do you think about Deep Silver’s removal of Yager from Dead Island 2? Which developer do you believe will be the best fit to see the survival-horror RPG project through to completion?
Dead Island 2 has been in the works for quite a while, and now that it lacks a developer, there’s no telling when it will come out. However, it was most recently slated for for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One with an estimated release sometime in 2016.