Dead Island 2 - release date speculation, leaks, and everything we know

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Image of the Dead Island 2 logo.

Dead Island 2, the "upcoming" survival horror action RPG, was delayed ever since it went into development, but a Dead Island 2 release date is finally here. Dead Island, originally launched in 2011, was a surprise hit for publisher Deep Silver - largely off the back of an incredible trailer that didn't really reflect the tone of the game at all.

After selling more than five million copies, a sequel was announced in 2014 but we still don't have it in our hands. Recently, a five-year-old playable gameplay demo was leaked onto the web for fans to get a taste of what could have been (or still could be). Xbox Series X and PS5, the next-generation of gaming, will offer some huge opportunities for the zombie title. So what's happened to it? What do we know?

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Elsewhere, check out our picks of the best Warzone guns and best Warzone ARs for help in the Call of Duty battle royale that still has the world in a chokehold. That's alongside a look at the upcoming Modern Warfare 2 release date.

When is the Dead Island 2 release date?

Dead Island 2 will release on April 28, 2023. This release date is the result of a brief two-month delay announced in November 2022.

Dead Island 2 was originally slated to release on February 3, 2023. That was confirmed at the game's re-reveal at Gamescom Opening Night 2022, which also showed off our first look at Dead Island 2 gameplay. As such, there really isn't too long to wait.

According to leaks from Tom Henderson, Dead Island 2 was first rumoured to release on February 23, 2023. That was the date given by the Amazon listing he shared, and the best estimate we had prior to its release.

While Yager, the team responsible for the excellent Spec Ops: The Line, was originally developing the game, it has since moved to Sumo Digital before moving to Dambuster Studios.

The first Dead Island game was so well received a sequel was put into development shortly after. Since then, it has gone through three developer changes, but THQ addressed its future in a presentation saying that it is still in development.

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Dead Island 2 news

17 November 2022 -

Dead Island 2 has been delayed. In an Embracer Group financial report, the publisher confirmed that the upcoming title will now launch in April 2023, as opposed to February. Check out the full announcement tweet here:

24 August 2022 -

As the 'one last thing' at Gamescom Opening Night Live 2022, we finally know a lot more about Dead Island 2. Not only is it officially out of development hell, but it's due to release in early February 2023.

The new cinematic trailer shows off one of the four playable characters, each slated to have their own individual perks. That's alongside a brief look at gameplay, which is just as gory as you'd expect. Check out the new footage here:

18 August 2022 -

On a random August evening, it appears that Dead Island 2's future has been confirmed.

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Renowned industry leaker Tom Henderson shared a leaked Amazon listing for the game, supposedly with a release date of February 23, 2023. Alongside a few screenshots, it's the most concrete evidence we've had in years.

10 February 2022 -

Well this is surprising and somewhat unexpected. Notorious leaker Tom Henderson has just released a new report suggesting that Dead Island 2 is alive and well. Sort of.

We'd suggest having a watch of the below video for the full report, but in it Henderson claims that the game is in "a decent state" and could be revealed pretty soon. Supposedly this would be ahead of a possible Q4 2022 or early 2023 release window.

Henderson goes on to state a few plot spoilers (that we won't include here) but obviously gameplay will have improved since the 2015 leaks, given that we're now years on from those original first looks at the game in question.

4 June 2021 -

Deep Silver has confirmed that fans shouldn't anticipate any E3 reveals at E3 2021. Writing on Twitter the Publisher told fans:

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"Our parent company @KochMedia_HQ is making an announcement as part of #SummerGamesFest on June 11th. To give you a head’s up, you won’t see Dead Island, Saints Row, Metro or TimeSplitters there (or at any other E3 2021 event). We’ll let you know when we have news to share."

So that's that then.

4 December 2020 -

Yep, the game is still going in development and Deep Silver have made it known.

In a discussion on Twitter, one fan asking if Dead Island is coming, to which another fan told him to "Give up man".

Deep Silver retorted saying "We wouldn't be so sure about that!".

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It will be interesting to understand what has taken this game so long and how different it looks compared to the 2014 Gamescom gameplay.

Image of a tweet from Deep Silver, reiterating that Dead Island 2 still exists.

What is Dead Island 2?

Based off of the original game, expect Dead Island 2 to pit players against hordes of zombies with up to three co-op partners, using whatever they can get their hands on to keep the undead at bay.

Set a couple of months after the original game, the sequel was originally supposed to show a quarantined California during the zombie apocalypse. It's set in Los Angeles, taking the sunny paradise and sprinkling in some undead brutality.

You'll play as four different survivors making their way through this apocalyptic setting. California has been quarantined following the events of the first game, with those left inside the bubble forced to fend for themselves.

A shot from the leaked Dead Island 2 build
A shot from the leaked Dead Island 2 build
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Dead Island 2 platforms

The game was originally slated for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC; likely to be Steam. Fortunately those platforms are still receiving the game after its recent revival. On top of that, it'll be on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Stadia.

Dead Island 2 trailer

The new Dead Island 2 trailers landed at Gamescom 2022. This was the first one we saw: a brutal cinematic that interestingly mirrors the original's reveal trailer.

That's on top of a trailer that gave us a new look at gameplay - the first in years!

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Dead Island 2 gameplay

A five-year-old playable build of the fabled Dead Island 2 previously leaked online. The demo currently holds plenty of placeholder assets and looks very similar to the original; not surprising if the build is as old as it claims.

Eurogamer has confirmed that this iteration is from Yager, the developers behind Spec Ops: The Line. They left the project in July 2015. Here's the game in action.

That was followed by the world's proper reintroduction to Dead Island 2 gameplay at Gamescom 2022. Check it out here:

That's everything we know about Dead Island 2. Now it's out of development hell, we can't wait to see how it turns out!