While a report earlier today surfaced which suggested the Dead Space franchise, as we know it, was dead, that is apparently not the case. The report in question mentioned that disappointing early sales numbers and insider comments led to speculation that Dead Space 4, a project that had been in the early stages of development, was cancelled.
However, as it turns out, EA is not ready to pull the plug on Dead Space just yet, or at least that's the message they're putting out right now. Moreover, the publisher is "proud of the game" and they believe the "franchise remains an important IP to EA."
Of course that's a line we've heard before, mere days before a future project is cancelled or falls into development hell. After all, EA does not want to project a lack of faith in a product that still has some DLC content in the pipeline. How could EA keep gamers invested in future content if they say, in no uncertain terms, this is the last fans will see of Dead Space. Well, apparently a sequel was (is?) in development.
According to a source for VideoGamer.com, Dead Space 4 was in the early stages of pre-production at Visceral Games' Montreal studio where prototypes and mockups were being developed. This news might come as a shock to some who thought Dead Space 3 was the end to the trilogy, but those who have played the game to completion know there are some places future titles can go. However, it is rumored that the forthcoming DLC will actually tie up those loose story threads, so maybe Dead Space 4 pre-production was early brainstorming and nothing more.
Additionally, for whatever image EA might want to project, the fact still remains that many employees with Visceral Montreal were laid off. Studio closures or lay offs are never a good sign, and they raise even more concern considering Visceral Montreal has a new game, Army of Two: Devil's Cartel, slated to release at the end of the month.
There was even a point where it seemed like Dead Space 3 might not be in the cards, after sales numbers were tepid for Dead Space 2. EA then tasked Visceral with retooling the franchise — making it more action heavy and introducing a cooperative element to bolster sales numbers. Needless to say we're not ready to say goodbye to Isaac Clarke until EA officially pulls the plug.
Would you like to see a Dead Space 4? Do you think that the franchise will ever be the triple-A offering that EA apparently wants?