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UPDATE: EA has responded with the following official statement:

"While we have not announced sales for Dead Space 3, we are proud of the game and the franchise remains an important IP to EA."

ORIGINAL STORY: EA has ceased development on Dead Space 4 and effectively axed the series following lower than anticipated sales of Dead Space 3, has learned.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source familiar with the unannounced project told that Dead Space 4 had been in pre-production at Visceral Games, with a small team at Visceral Montreal allegedly tasked with developing prototypes and mock-ups for the title, and collaborating on ideas for the game's narrative.

However, the project was cancelled after Dead Space 3 failed to meet its sales targets, our source claims, telling us that EA executives visited Visceral Montreal last month to inform staff that the project had been terminated and announce details of the company's restructuring.

Visceral Montreal is rumoured to have closed following the restructuring.

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Though EA had yet to announce Dead Space 4, Dead Space 3's cliffhanger ending suggested that a fourth game had been planned by the publisher.

As well as discussing Dead Space 4's alleged cancellation, our source also gave us further insight into Dead Space 3's development, telling us that the game was almost cancelled partway through its development, and saw continuous cuts made to its budget throughout production.

Weapon-specific ammo was allegedly switched for generic ammo late in development, too, as a method for shoehorning in the game's controversial micro-transactions.

EA also advised Visceral that Dead Space 3 needed to appeal to a wider audience than the series' previous two titles, our source added, and the studio was reportedly told to focus on action over horror in an effort to make the game feel more like BioWare's Mass Effect.

Our source's comments tally with those made previously by EA.

Last year, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau suggested that Dead Space 3 would need to sell around five million copies in order for the series to survive.

"In general we're thinking about how we make this a more broadly appealing franchise," Gibeau told CVG, "because ultimately you need to get to audience sizes of around five million to really continue to invest in an IP like Dead Space.

"Anything less than that and it becomes quite difficult financially given how expensive it is to make games and market them."

Though sales figures for the game have yet to be officially released, the game's first week sales in the UK were down 26.6 per cent on the game's predecessor Dead Space 2.

In the weeks following its release, Dead Space 3 has gradually slipped further down the charts. The game currently sits at no.8, placing behind last year's Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Far Cry 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

EA announced plans to restructure its Los Angeles and Montreal studios in February, stating that though "many employees are being retrained for new positions... a small number will be released".

A former Visceral Montreal employee claims to have told Game Informer that "the entire studio has been laid off".

EA told that it does not comment on rumour or speculation when contacted about Dead Space 4's alleged cancellation.

Source: Source

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User Comments

rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ chrisboers


Have you even played the game? The scale of the game was huge esspecially with the parts where you are out in space along with set pieces, where you have full movement and your actions matter unlike a lot of cutscene/quicktime rubbish that is all over the place in games these days.

I think a lot of gamers these days wouldn't know a good game when it's right on their coffee table in front of them ready to be played.
Posted 11:28 on 05 March 2013
chrisboers's Avatar

chrisboers@ EverTheOptimist

In this case, they went for the lackluster option, and still got sacked... Lackluster isn't always the best/safest option.
Posted 11:10 on 05 March 2013
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ EverTheOptimist

It's amazing that the series has got this far as the first game flopped and the second I think did average.

But this game is just stunning in it's production and as a gamer money has been well spent on this.
I'm personally glad the game got made and I hope at least the people involved do well if the studio does close down.
Hopefully someone like Epic/MS/Sony/Nintendo etc will pick up most of the talent as EA/Activision have no idea how to handle talent.
Posted 11:06 on 05 March 2013
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist@ munkee

Do publishers always know better though? I'm not referring to DS3 here, but isn't it sometimes better for devs to create a game they're proud of that takes risks that may not work out? I'd be interested to see how most devs feel about that- would they rather stay in employment and make lackluster genre games or take the risk to make something different and potentially lose their job?

DS3 had mixed reviews, but it's also the third game in a series so it's done alright to get to that point.
Posted 11:02 on 05 March 2013
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ Clockpunk

There is enough ammo about on Casual as well, and killing them is so easy!
I think EA's PA team is the cause of the game flopping as the bot was not for the co-op partner as it made out I think.

I played on normal though on CO-op and got some achievements on casual like peng etc.
Posted 10:59 on 05 March 2013
CheekyLee's Avatar


When you need 5 million sales to recoup costs, then you spent too much. And, when you predict 5 million sales, then you guessed too highly.
Posted 10:59 on 05 March 2013
Clockpunk's Avatar


I don't quite see how the generic ammo packs would promote microtransactional DLC at all... seems more like a case of streamlining to make it easier for casuals more than anything else.

Selling fewer copies than Aliens: CM, though, in spite of the massive negativity of that title, must sting.
Posted 10:57 on 05 March 2013
rbevanx's Avatar


Well the ending wasn't really a cliffhanger and felt complete to me, but it depends on what they do with the DLC.
I actually didn't feel the game deserved to flop and I have played more than 15 hours on it, meaning the game is not exactly as bad as VG said in their review.

Show Spoiler Issac possibly being alive after the credits I just naturally ignored as he's dead after that fall in my eyes. It's bad enough with the amount of times Ellie AKA Wonder Woman escaped death in the game constantly!
Posted 10:56 on 05 March 2013
munkee's Avatar


Luckily, as this above article shows, publishers know better than developers do and should definitely make huge gameplay decisions more often. After all, it's all about the money.
Posted 10:45 on 05 March 2013

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 08/02/2013
Publisher: EA
Genre: Survival Horror
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 495 78
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