Dead Island Recap: Trailer, Screenshots, Gameplay and Movie Rights

If there was any lingering doubt whether zombies were back in style then look no further than the announcement trailer for Deep Silver’s Dead Island video game.

The trailer depicting a young girl dead on the ground whose fate is revealed in reverse slow-motion is so unusually emotionally jarring for a video game that it reached beyond the confines of the gaming community and throughout the general entertainment world. It has sparked countless conversations and has everyone wanting to see what comes next.


A lot has been written and surmised about Dead Island over the last several days. For my benefit and yours, I’ve cobbled together all the big bullet points about the project and available assets into this article so we’re all up to speed (after the trailer below).

It’s a First-Person Shooter With a Twist – According to IGN, Dead Island is set at the The Royal Palms Resort on the remote island of Banoi in Papua New Guinea. As you can imagine a tropical resort island is not where weapons of mass zombie destruction are typically housed. Instead of blasting zombies with big guns, rockets and grenades, you’ll be forced to use whatever objects are available: knives, sticks, pipes, garden tools, and the rare firearm a security officer may have had on him.

Unlike Left 4 Dead, the pioneering zombie first-person shooter title, developer Techland has built in an RPG element to Dead Island. Information on what this entails is limited at this time, though you can expect your player (there will be multiple survivors to choose from including “Sam B” the rapper) to level up and learn new combat capabilities as the game progresses.

It’s Coming This Year – Though Dead Island has been in various stages of development for upwards of 5 years, only now with publisher Deep Silver on board do we know when and where it’s coming. The official release date is not set but Deep Silver is promising to deliver Dead Island to Xbox 360, PS3 and the PC before we ring in 2012.

No One Has Purchased the Movie RightsThe Wrap reported exclusively on Friday that Producer Sean Daniel and Union Entertainment purchased the film rights to Dead Island back in 2009 after following the game project since its inception. Interest in the film rights has skyrocketed since the trailer debut but normally those discussions between studios and the current rights holder are kept under wraps.

The Wrap’s report forced Deep Silver to publicly respond and confirm they not only still hold the film rights to Dead Island but all the licensing rights. Nothing has been sold and they remain the sole IP holder for the Dead Island brand.

Deep Silver also confirmed there are a “vast amount of inquiries” about the film rights and they are slowing going through them. Given the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead and huge impact of this trailer, I’d expect the Dead Island film rights to be sold long before the game hits store shelves.

If you’re a fan of zombie horror survival video games then these are great times. With Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombie Mode, the upcoming zombie MMO from Undead Labs, and Telltale’s upcoming episodic game based on The Walking Dead soon to welcome Dead Island into their gory ranks, there’s no shortage of zombie mayhem to sink your teeth into.

Click any of the Dead Island screenshot (via IGN) thumbnails below to view the high resolution versions.

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