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

altaranga's Avatar

altaranga@ altaranga

Thanks for the TU, whoever it was... however...

I would like to change my opinion on the necessity for the statement. I can see the sh!tstorm now and think it was both prudent and wise to release a bold, clear statement. I have seen several stories quoting what has been written, and for the most part people seem to be on VG's side (in terms of journalistic standards regarding this story).

I still find EAs stance on this perplexing. Their attack on the story has been vitriolic, and yet they still refuse to confirm or deny the story itself. Smells fishier than a Glastonbury-goers minge to me.
Posted 16:03 on 07 March 2013
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga@ p0rtalthinker

Covering their butts?

I just think VG's statement was a bit OTT and unnecessary. Lovers gonna love. Haters gonna hate. No-one really cares and yet the world keeps moving anyway.
Posted 12:26 on 07 March 2013
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Dead Space 3, where even the horror is DLC.
Posted 12:11 on 07 March 2013
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ Karlius

I do it's entertaining at least lol.

Just read Peter Moore's comments, this is why you should have a "We don't comment on rumour" motto.
Posted 11:32 on 07 March 2013
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Can I just say "Who gives a sh!t?" that is all!
Posted 11:08 on 07 March 2013
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

I want an abridged version of Dead Space 3 from VG now :)
Posted 10:54 on 07 March 2013
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie

Wow this really does seem to be bouncing around the internet. Even Peter Moore has jumped on the wagon.
I'm not a hater of EA but I find the fact they changed there statement to then include the quote shocking and bad practise.

Don't worry VG anyone with any sense will see the truth, and in 6 months when the studio is let go or DS is confirmed dead, I'd resurrect this little article.
Posted 10:29 on 07 March 2013
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Another black mark against EA in my book...
Posted 10:06 on 07 March 2013
p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker@ altaranga

They're just covering their butts. No big deal really.

Move along folks...
Posted 09:48 on 07 March 2013
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga

I honestly don't know why you felt the need to release this statement.

"We had a trusted source whom we continue to trust" would have sufficed.

Anyone who buys into the utter bollox spewed out by these publishers and their related PR companies needs their head examined.

"Our game is great" - well you're not going to say it's crap are you?

"Their game is crap" - well you're not going to say it's good are you?

"Our company rocks" - and my dad's bigger than your dad.

"It's all lies" - time will tell.
Posted 09:30 on 07 March 2013
Catterick's Avatar

Catterick@ Mintyrebel

lol
Posted 09:23 on 07 March 2013
Wido's Avatar

Wido

I personally think that you guys didn't have to come out with the statement. Sure, you will have hordes of people saying the site is crap and just wanting attention because views are down or whatever crap they would say.

Fair play to you lot anyway. EA just being EA.
Posted 08:57 on 07 March 2013
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

"Everyone is stupid except me" quote from the Simpsons speaks VOLUMES about situations like this.



EA boardroom meetings actually sound like it.

YouTube Video
Posted 22:52 on 06 March 2013
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

Hey, EA. How's that Sim City launch going? Those servers holding up? Ah, I see. You want people looking anywhere else but right at YOU for your cock-up. Oh, ok then. We'll all be good sheep and toe your party line.

How is your current direction working out for you, by the way? Once upon a time, you were the most hated corporation in all videogamedom, after all. But, good work on reclaiming the lead. I guess you showed those upstarts from ActiVision that any hate they can garner, you can garner harder!

You know, never mind all the free advice that THE ENTIRE INTERNET is giving you about why they didn't buy Dead Space 3. Never mind how ABSOLUTELY NOBODY APART FROM CLIFF BLOODY BLESZINSKI likes microtransactions. Never mind how LESS THAN A YEAR AGO another always-on DRM game screwed up and showed you precisely how to avoid this scenario. Just keep on peddling your crap, and blaming everyone else. I'm sure it won't bite you in the arse.
Posted 21:40 on 06 March 2013
Mintyrebel's Avatar

Mintyrebel

If only the newspaper article competition hadn't already ended... :p
Posted 21:38 on 06 March 2013

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