According to VideoGamer.com, Dead Space 4 has been cancelled during pre-production due to less than stellar sales from Dead Space 3. Effectively this means that the series could have met it’s untimely end for an unforeseen amount of time, if not permanently. An anonymous source has confided in the aforementioned website explaining that the there had been a small team at Visceral Montreal that had already begun developing various prototypes and building ideas for the game’s narrative.
Although a 4th Dead Space game had not yet officially been announced, it was not unsurprising to learn it was in the early stages of production considering the incomplete and arguably pointless narrative of the third game. It has recently been raised to the media that Dead Space 3 was almost cancelled on several occasions, and received continuous budget cuts during it’s during it’s. The implementation of generic ammunition is said to have been the result of one of these cuts to allow EA to implement additional micro-transactions.
Prior to the release of Dead Space 3, EA went on the record saying:
“In general we’re thinking about how we make this a more broadly appealing franchise 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.”
There is no denying that Dead Space 3 had it’s problems, but it’s hard not to be saddened when we hear these types of rumours. It’s also possible that people may have lost their jobs due to the sales of Dead Space 3 as the studio was shut down during a recent restructuring. EA has officially stated, “many employees are being retrained for new positions… a small number will be released”. However, a former Visceral Montreal employee claims to have told Game Informer that “the entire studio has been laid off”.
EA had also advised Visceral Montreal that it was essential for Dead Space 3 to reach a larger audience than the previous entries in the series. It has been reported by VideoGamer.com that the studio were told to place a priority on action instead of horror as they wanted to reach out to the same audience as Mass Effect also.
If this is all true, then this is a sad day for the industry. It’s never good news to learn that people may have lost their jobs, and our hearts go out to the ex-employee’s of Visceral Montreal and their respective families. In our opinion this only cries out one thing, greed. EA tried to force unnecessary changes to the formula in order to broaden the audience, and yet were only hit with sales that couldn’t live up to the previous instalments.