Yesterday, VideoGamer.com published an article alleging that EA had ceased development on Dead Space 4 and that the franchise had been effectively axed, after the most recent game in the series, Dead Space 3, allegedly failed to meet sales targets.

Our story details Visceral Montreal's alleged involvement with the unannounced project and referenced previous rumours of the studio's supposed closure.

The information was provided to us by a trusted source: an individual whose identity we agreed to protect, but whose background and statements gave us valid reason to trust their claims. We contacted Electronic Arts UK PR at 12:31 GMT on Monday, March 4, to ask whether they could confirm or deny that Dead Space 4 had been cancelled, or provide any further comment on the future of the series. This is standard industry practice.

In response, EA's UK representative asked us whether we would be willing to hold the story until the following day, Tuesday, March 5, to provide the publisher with more time to get a response from its US team.

After initially declining EA’s request, we later decided that waiting for an official response from the publisher would be the best course of action. At 16:34 GMT we informed EA UK that we would be holding the story overnight - as per their initial request - in the hope of receiving an official response.

On Tuesday morning, having informed the US team of our request, EA UK informed VideoGamer.com that it does not comment on rumour and speculation. The story was published at 10:36 GMT to include this response, 22 hours after our initial correspondence with the publisher.

At 15:41 GMT, quotes alleging to be from EA appeared online. "Rumors about poor Dead Space 3 sales and an unannounced Dead Space 4 being cancelled are "patently false," EA tells us. Spread the word!", read a Gamasutra tweet. GameSpot also updated its story with an identical quote, again having claimed to have received the statement from EA.

With some confusion, we contacted EA UK to question the origin and legitimacy of this differing statement, which appeared to have been released to US media hours after we were told EA would not be providing comment.

At 16:09 GMT, EA UK informed us that it was now issuing media with a statement, which read: “While we have not announced sales of Dead Space 3, we are proud of the game and the franchise remains an important IP to EA.”

At this point there was still no mention of the “patently false” quote. At 16:35 GMT, EA UK told us that EA US had not issued any statement other than the one quoted above. At 16:39 GMT, we again questioned EA UK where the “patently false” quote had originated from. At 16:40 GMT, EA UK informed us that EA’s US team had not spoken to Gamasutra.

At 20:07 GMT, EA UK informed us that the US had prepared a revised statement, which was being issued to media on request. It stated: “These rumours are patently false. While we have not released sales data for Dead Space 3, we are proud of the game and it continues to be an important IP to EA. Appreciate your help bringing down this baseless rumour.” At the same time, it confirmed that its Corporate Comms team - not US PR - had spoken to Gamasutra.

We later noticed that at 14:58 GMT, Creative Director at Electronic Arts and ex Art Director on Dead Space, Ian Milham, tweeted to say that “Almost nothing in that article is true. But thanks for the nice words on DS!”.

VideoGamer.com would never publish information from a source whose identity could not be verified, or that we do not believe to be accurate. We carried out internal checks to verify the validity of the comments made by our source - and while we have a duty of care to protect their identity - we stand by the comments made in the original story.

We would also like to reiterate that we ran the story in good faith, taking the necessary steps with both EA and our source to ensure that the story was as accurate, fair, and well-represented as possible.

We find it perplexing as to why EA changed its stance on its decision not to comment on rumours and speculation, especially given the opportunities that the publisher had to clarify the situation before and after VideoGamer.com published the story. We firmly deny any accusations of fabrication on our part.

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User Comments

DancingRhino's Avatar

DancingRhino

Well that's why people slinging allegations of lying about could be potentially harmful.
Posted 14:00 on 08 March 2013
Mintyrebel's Avatar

Mintyrebel@ rbevanx

Just to play devils advocate here, where is the proof that any of what VG has said is true? They may never have contacted EA, they may never have received the response they claim to have... You say you've been "turned to VG's side" by a statement VG has made without any substantial evidence. This whole thing is a case of "our word against theirs".
Posted 13:07 on 08 March 2013
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga@ rbevanx

Quote:
Originally Posted by bevan
What turns me to VG's side is that EA had a chance to respond and they said "We don't comment on rumour" then VG publish the story and all of sudden EA respond to it by saying it's untrue.

Exactly. We don't comment. Oh no wait a minute we do comment after all. Make your mind up EA.

What confuses me is how EA are saying the article is baloney, but still refuse to comment on the specifics of the article itself. IS Dead Space 4 canned? No comment. Are Dead Space 3 sales poor? No comment.

The truth will out.
Posted 12:52 on 08 March 2013
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ Karlius

Currently they do but before, it really was just their sport section hence they would have gone under a long time ago

It's what got them to the top in the first place from what I can remember.
Posted 12:43 on 08 March 2013
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ BC_Animus

Yes and no as in the past I have been negative about certain aspects of VG and also EA.
Also I think I have been the only one who has been positive about Dead Space 3 here.

What turns me to VG's side is that EA had a chance to respond and they said "We don't comment on rumour" then VG publish the story and all of sudden EA respond to it by saying it's untrue.
And this is what VG are willing to put on record and will very likely have evidence, hence all the times in this article.
EA have nothing but childish accusations with Peter Moore doing nothing but make the situation worse by now choosing to respond when before the company he works for had a chance to respond and instead call them unprofessional.

Trust me I have no alliegence to a console/site/whatever personally.
Posted 12:39 on 08 March 2013
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ rbevanx

That is one hell of a statement Rich and a bad one at that. There are many games that Keep EA afloat not just their sports division.
Posted 12:39 on 08 March 2013
Mintyrebel's Avatar

Mintyrebel@ BC_Animus

Hence why I decided to not come out and say "Oh VG of course I trust every word you write because why on earth would you ever lie". I don't THINK they would lie but none of us have any proof either way. I also agree with your point about EA hate, I don't get it... they model their business around the consumers, us, if we stop buying things, they stop getting money, they change. It's really simple.
Posted 12:30 on 08 March 2013
BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus@ rbevanx

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbevanx
It's also important we have a free press that isn't dictated by corporations, just my view anyway and I'm really glad VG stood up for themselves.

Naturally being VG fans we're biased in favor of VideoGamer.com, and I'm of course on their side on this - but I just wanna say too that as readers and folks on the side, we really have no idea what is going on behind the scenes, what politics are involved and what mind games and propaganda are in play.

Don't take what I have to say seriously though - I'm one of those nuts who believed that they landed on the moon, but encountered aliens, and so had to fake a 2nd moon landing to cover it up...
Posted 12:27 on 08 March 2013
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

Quote:
Well... not really. Sadly it's all about the $$$, and sadly as long as a bunch of us consumers are willing to fork out our earnings, they will push (and keep pushing) the acceptable boundaries as much as they can.

What about News International, they didn't get away with pushing boundaries but I respect with what you are trying to say, but taking away EA's past I still would of thought their actions in this instance is wrong.
It's also important we have a free press that isn't dictated by corporations, just my view anyway and I'm really glad VG stood up for themselves.
Posted 12:18 on 08 March 2013
BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus

While I'm no fan of EA, I do think a lot of gamers are being incredibly harsh towards them. While I'm not siding with them, I do think they are merely doing what the market/consumers/shareholders are dictating, and merely moving with the ebb and flow of the market.

Do I like what they have done in the past? No. Do I like what they are doing currently, and the ripples their actions will cause? No. But do I blame them? Well... not really. Sadly it's all about the $$$, and sadly as long as a bunch of us consumers are willing to fork out our earnings, they will push (and keep pushing) the acceptable boundaries as much as they can.

Sadly it doesn't matter what we think or how much we protest - things will only get worse. And even sadder is the fact that after a while whatever evil it is they're doing will become the normal acceptable standards, and no one would bet an eye at them.
Posted 12:10 on 08 March 2013
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ DancingRhino

Yeah it's only a good thing on our side of things at least, EA tend to do a lot of PR stuff like Pwnd on Xbox Live/Youtube giving the impression it's neutral and just happens to be reporting on EA, if I was just watching as a viewer and didn't know before hand it would be hard to see EA's involvment in it.

Quite clever really but when it's buying reviews/journalism like with the Tomb Raider thing which has been going on for too long that's too far and I'm glad it's coming to somekind of stop at least.
Posted 12:07 on 08 March 2013
DancingRhino's Avatar

DancingRhino@ Karlius

Maybe, with future releases and stuff. But with the minor situation last year to do with honesty and journalism, a lot of sites have gone with being even more transparent, and that's cool imo. To hell with PR lies and crap like this. Most people can see what's happening.
Posted 12:01 on 08 March 2013
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ Karlius

Well they are not gonna get review copies of their games now, but then again they and loads of others didn't get Battlefield 3.

If EA didn't have their sports section they would have gone under a long time ago, I also think a lot of their money comes from mobile gaming.
Posted 11:48 on 08 March 2013
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ altaranga

It was I with a thumbs up and frankly "I don't give a sh!t" :)

Just read Moore's comments just sounds like a nob but can see this being problematic for VG in the future.
Posted 09:31 on 08 March 2013
Deepestblue's Avatar

Deepestblue

I believe VideoGamer, and I don't believe EA. Everbody knows EA lies and overpromises just in order to drop the customer right after he checked out. E.g. "We promise to have a very smooth European start of SimCity after our f***-up regarding the US start." Yeah ...
Posted 18:59 on 07 March 2013

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