Before they made Warhammer: Vermintide, developer Fatshark made the Dead Island spin-off Escape Dead Island for Deep Silver. Despite some fun gameplay elements it disappointed, as it seemed more than a little rushed.
We asked CEO Martin Wahlund why Escape Dead Island wasn't as good as could have been, and he was very diplomatic in his answer.
We spoke to Fatshark CEO Martin Wahlund and designer Mats Andersson about Warhammer: Vermintide 2 and we spoke about the studio's previous game, Escape Dead Island. Martin Wahlund didn't directly put the blame on publisher Deep Silver, but did suggest that the game was released before Fatshark wanted it to - but they had no control over the game's release date. With Vermintide 1 and 2 they set out to change that.
"Regarding Escape Dead Island, and Vermintide 2, the key thing as a developer is to control your release date. When you don’t, you might end up releasing games that might not be at the quality you’d like. For many developers that’s super hard. They can get financial investors who want a return of their money, a publisher who has put a lot of money into marketing at a certain point when they expect the game to be done, or they could just run out of money."
"It’s actually a rare thing where you can control your release date! When you run with a publisher – and this is not blaming any publishers! – they’re spending a lot of money on the project. They have a maximum budget they want to spend over a risk/reward scenario, they have a marketing budget and maybe they’ve started spending it already, and there are a lot of internal politics at publishers as well. The marketing department might have a slot because they have a report from the management regarding the fiscal year ending or something, and they want to get the game out before then. There’s a lot of stuff like that when you’re dealing with publishers, and these kind of events can affect the quality of some games."
Martin also added, "Not specifically referring to anyone regarding Escape Dead Island of course!" Of course.
Warhammer: Vermintide 2 releases tomorrow and is looking great. Escape Dead Island actually ended up the last Dead Island game being released (barring the Definitive Editions). Stick with Vermintide.