After 8 years in development hell, Dead Island 2 sells 1 million copies in its first weekend

Dead Island 2
(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Dead Island 2 has finally been released from nearly a decade in development hell – eight or nine years depending on when you start counting – and launched to respectable acclaim and strong sales. According to its official Twitter, it sold a million copies in its first four days.

"HELL-A welcomed over a million Slayers during its launch weekend," a recent tweet reads. "That's mind-blowing. Thank you!" The tweet was posted mid-afternoon on Monday, April 24, three-and-a-half days after the game's Friday, April 21 release date. A million copies is a pretty solid haul for about 84 hours. 

These aren't the biggest launch sales of the year – last I checked, Hogwarts Legacy still wears that crown with 12 million copies in two weeks – but the fact that Dead Island 2 was released at all, let alone in a genuinely likable state, is a miracle. Shipping a game is hard enough in ideal circumstances, so games with development cycles this long and troubled rarely stick the landing. It's a nice little comeback story for a game that's been the butt of countless jokes over the last few years. 

We were quite taken with the zombie-slashing sequel ourselves, especially the unbelievably detailed gore system that turns every zombie kill into a wonderfully grotesque spectacle. As we said in our Dead Island 2 review: "For the most part though this is a robustly solid and polished game that, while it might never drop anything groundbreaking, maintains a consistently enjoyable flow of nice touches and ideas." 

Despite its simplicity, Dead Island 2 did squeeze in a cool moment which, for good reason, is rarely seen in games

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.