Dead Island publisher Deep Silver has joined with industry giant Square Enix to distribute Techland's upcoming zombie action title -- in North America, anyway. As such, expect to see the Square Enix logo slapped onto your copy of the game, be it for Xbox 360, PS3, or PC.
Note that this doesn't make Square Enix the publisher for Dead Island. Rather, the company is charged with distribution, making them a middleman of sorts.
As always, Dead Island is being developed by Techland. Players find themselves trapped at a resort island when a zombie outbreak strikes, reducing most of the island's inhabitants and visitors to mindless undead with a hankering for flesh. Although designed with a first-person perspective, Dead Island combat focuses more on melee, which makes sense if you think about it. Where the heck are you going to find weapon caches in a place like that? We're not in a mall, dammit.
Update: It occurs to us that some folks might not be fully aware of the difference between a publisher and a distributor. See, as the distributor for Dead Island, Square Enix is not only in charge of actual distribution, but also selling the game in North America. According to Deep Silver's head of PR Aubrey Norris, the company needs a big name like SqEnix mainly because despite having a decent track record, they're too small to be distributing directly to retailers. As such, smaller publishers look for bigger distributors who have existing relationships with retail.
"In order for any publisher to be able to self-distribute, it has to reach a certain level of volume with retailers," Norris told Ars Technica. "Since retailers don't have time to work directly with every publisher, that's where distributors come into play, as they can assist smaller publishers with getting retail placement.
"The stronger the distributor a small publisher has, the better retail placement it can hope for, and thus higher sales, which can lead to eventual direct relationships if that's what the publisher desires."