23 Feb


Few trailers outside of Rockstar have garnered the internet buzz that Dead Island‘s cinematic trailer have. According to the game’s publisher Deep Silver, the trailer was even impressive enough to merit movie publishers to come calling for the film rights to the franchise. The publisher, while confirming the rights are still in their possession, is still shopping around for prospective buyers. The game, which began production in 2007, has had a rocky road to this year’s most talked about trailer so far.

The trailer was a labor divided between Deep Silver and UK-based animation studio Axis, directed by studio director Stuart Aitken. Axis worked closely with Deep Silver in order to best convey the game’s focus on a more visceral experience that zombie games usually go after. Motion-capture studios Audiomotion and Dimensional Imaging were also brought in for extensive character motion capturing sessions. The trailer’s unique music and sound design was handled in-studio at Axis.

“When we were initially approached by Deep Silver about Dead Island we were really excited about the idea of getting to grips with zombies.” said Axis Executive Producer Richard Scott. “As we started to collaborate with the Deep Silver team on the story ideas and creative treatments we felt that there was something else special about this opportunity.”

“Deep Silver were really keen to create something different, something that would really stand out and when they put forward the initial idea for the ‘reverse’ sequence I saw the seed of something great there.” said Axis director Stuart Aitken. “Working with the Deep Silver team has been fantastic…They put a huge amount of faith and trust in me and the rest of the team and it has paid off for everyone.”

“We set out to create a rather unique trailer concept that would focus on delivering emotion and atmosphere while transporting the key elements and features of Dead Island. With the help of Axis and the great collaboration between our cinematic Director, Anton Borkel and his team and Axis’ own Stuart Aitken, we ended up creating something that was a breathtaking combination of pictures, story and music which formed an atmosphere of intensity that – for us – was beyond words.” said Global Business Development Director and acting producer on the project Malte Wagener of Deep Silver. “Axis exceeded all our high expectations and then some on this project and really hit this one out of the park.”

“We are blown away by the reaction to the trailer and look forward to continuing the strong relationship with Dead Island and Deep Silver.” said Axis Producer Andrew Pearce.

A lot of people, both inside the trailer’s development and out, have had a lot to say about the new Dead Island trailer. What are your thoughts, E-Gs?

4 thoughts on “The Story Behind the ‘Dead Island’ Cinematic Trailer”

  1. I liked it a lot. It was sad and weird for a videogame, and weird things are always good.

    And nowadays i find it reassuring that a game that tries to achieve something in terms of narrative and character isn’t being made by an american team. It’s stupid, but it’s a rule that’s based on that mostly everything american that’s been released in the last years has simply been insignificant in those departments, so i say it’s a fair rule.

    I like this a lot. It’s good to feel bad in games every once in a while.

    1. I don’t think this game is pushing characterization or a strong narrative. From what I have heard, this is just an open world L4D (possibly in the third person and with less bullets).

  2. Wow i’m pretty impressed. That was a great trailer. Refreshing, and first time i’ve seen a zombie video game that even attempted to touch narrative and plot since the Resident Evils in the old days.

    This trailer certainly peaked my interest. Music was great, and the approach they took really draws you in. Whoever’s idea this was should get a nice pat on the back.

  3. While this trailer is so far the best trailer of the year, we still have no idea what gameplay will be like. I mean, an instance-based zombie MMO just seems like L4D to me.

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