Today news has emerged that the Australian Classification Board has rated something called Dead Island: Retro Revenge. Listed as a computer game with a mature rating for online interactivity and bloody violence, there is not a lot of information offered in the listing, however the applicant is series publisher Koch Media and the game is listed as in development by Empty Clip Studios.
Empty Clip Studios, a Canada-based development team, are known primarily for ports and music games, things that don’t seem to have much to do with zombies. So what could Deep Silver have in store? Or a better question: exactly what is going on with the Dead Island series?
I consider myself a fan of Dead Island. The original two games were flawed but a sign of good things to come: after Dead Island: Riptide, developers Techland would go on to make Dying Light, a first person zombie game that revitalized the genre with the addition of parkour. Deep Silver would later place Dead Island 2 in the hands of Yager Development, a partnership that went awry sometime last year. Now the official sequel is in the hands of creators unknown, and no word has come out since the July news that Yager would no longer be working on the game. Meanwhile, the ill-fated and poorly timed Dead Island MOBA, Epidemic, was canceled last year during its open beta phase, and Escape Dead Island, the adventure survival spin-off by Fatshark, were considered a disaster both by critics and fans.
So where does that leave the IP as a whole? What’s even going on with Dead Island 2? Are they seriously going to attempt another game in the series without resolving the fate of the sequel first? Given the track record so far, anything could happen.
Dead Island: Retro Revenge may have something to do with Dead Island Redux, which was once referred to as Dead Island Definitive Edition. Perhaps a port combining the two original games is being prepared for the current console generation? Only time will tell.