Rumour Suggests In Development “Dead Space 4” Has Been Canned

Despite proving popular critically, EA’s in-development Dead Space 4 has been canned, with developers Visceral being disbanded. That’s according to VideoGamer this morning who say that the cancellation was down to Dead Space 3’s less than anticipated sales.

The game’s first week sales were down over 25% in the UK compared with Dead Space 2.

The site claims that a fourth game was in development – no surprise after 3’s ending – “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.”

It sounds like, from the report at least, that staff at Visceral were informed of the decision last month.

The same source claims that the third game was”almost cancelled partway through its development” and was the subject of “continuous cuts made to its budget throughout production.”

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

EA declined to comment when we presented the rumours this morning.

You can read what we think of Dead Space 3 here.


  1. I find it hard to believe any of this. EA knows Dead Space will sell.

    • Apparently they need at least 5 million sales of 3 to fund 4. Looks like that target has not been met.

  2. So EA introduce micro payments, remove pretty much the whole survival horror vibe from a survival horror franchise in order to turn it into a generic action shooter, add a co-op mode that nobody wanted and when fans of the franchise abandon it as a result, they blame the developers.

    EA, ruining gaming one franchise at a time.

    • Absolutely spot on.

    • I wanted co-op!

    • EA did not develop the game. EA published it. Sometimes I wonder how much influence EA actually has on the franchise. I’m sure the microtransactions were EA’s idea but couldn’t it be that Visceral wanted to move the franchise towards a new direction? So far I’ve also only heard good things about the coop. The moaning camp seems to be a small minority in this case.

      • EA own Visceral, and as such there is a clear chain of command where EA can boss V’s design team around. Even if V were a separate entity and working under a publishing deal, EA would quite likely still have a lot of creative control written into that contract, depending on the bargaining position of both companies.

        So when EA announced that all games would have multiplayer components, a few years back, Dead Space 2 had MP added. When EA said that all games would have microtransactions, Dead Space 3 had those added in.

        Don’t get me wrong, Visceral are still responsible in how the game series has transformed from DS to DS3, but there will have been pre-production meetings where EA set them targets, such as 5 million sales, and V have to try and broaden the appeal to a wider audience to match those, for better or for worse.

      • That I am sure of, but what I mean is that EA is not the sole responsible entity for the direction the franchise went.

  3. Dead Space died a little bit after the first one ended and it probably died completely after Dante’s Inferno went ‘gold’ and some of the senior staff left to set up Sledgehammer Games under Activision.

    Visceral (formally EA Redwood Shores) is a great development studio, they achieved wonders on the PS3 with Dead Space (at the time) as a 3rd party getting it to run at 720p & stable framerate, with fantastic lighting when everyone else was struggling to run 720p & 30fps even though other titles featured lengthy installs as was popular at the time & still is now.

    Sadly EA’s business model took over with DS2 where it had to feature multiplayer & who knows whether that was to the detriment of the campaign or not, I’d say it was… all to shoehorn in an online pass and the all important multiplayer mode which the bean counters presume prevents people from trading in the game.

    Same with Dante’s Inferno… It’s crying out for a sequel and whilst the final 3rd of the game didn’t hold up to the first 2/3rds as it looked liked the title was crunched to fit in 6.3GB of Xbox 360 disc space, it was pretty damn amazing all the same, and one of the few blockbuster titles to be locked at 60fps without a hint of dropped frame or screen tear and again no install on PS3.

    Oh well, people keep rewarding EA’s business decisions with purchases, so they’re only going to go further down this path of making fewer & fewer stuff, backing oly stuff like The Sims, FIFA/Madden & Battlefield.

    • Tell you what EA, just make a DRM’d “always-on” Dead Space game, where ammo needs to be purchased if you don’t want to want to send your character on a menial task for 8hrs and it’s buy 1 get 1 free so you can gift some to your Facebook friends.

      Fuck off!

    • Dante’s Inferno was amazing indeed, sad that there was never a sequel for this really :/

  4. This is awful news, if true. In my opinion, the original Dead Space was one of the most transformative games of this generation and stands shoulder to shoulder with the paragons of the survival horror genre. I have to say that I found the franchise to get progressively less enthralling as it moved (somewhat inevitably) towards the action/horror hybrid epitomised by DS3, but the disbanding of Visceral would be criminal, as that gameplay ‘progression’ seemed to be driven almost entirely by EA. If sales were poor, I’d take that as a pretty clear indication that people who bought the last two games did not appreciate the direction the game was being taken in, rather than the actual development of the product itself.

    • I concur.

    • I quiet thought DS2 was a good sequel, most sequels suck but DS2 carried the momentum & even surpassed the first one scare wise IMO.

      The MP sucked though it was pointless

      • Dead Space 2 was a fine game, I just thought the atmosphere was better in the original. You really felt like a big, clunky engineer wandering around a ship straight out of Event Horizon, carrying your awesome plasma cutter and slowly becoming a badass.

        The second entry was also great, with better production values for sure, but I felt that the new, sleeker Isaac felt (and looked) more like a space ninja than the awkward sub-hero he was to begin with. Still a great experience though.

        Whilst I enjoyed DS3, the reliance on gunplay rather than exploration, and the general lack of tension that comes from having a military grade assault rifle/shotgun combo on your hip and a buddy nattering in your ear just didn’t feel like Dead Space.

        But that’s just me.

  5. In space … they canned hero?

  6. I’m about play DS3, who wants to co op

  7. Thats a slap in the face for micro transactions. Listen and learn EA

    • Whilst I’m sure that had a small part to play, the fact that they dramatically changed the way the game worked (eg co-op, more action etc) had more of an impact.

      • Co-op shoehorned in to make EA’s online pass more compelling.

        More action oriented in attempt to widen game’s appeal by become less distinct & less, well… Dead Space-y

        EA shelving this project & that project, closing that studio down, merging that one – They’re reaping what they’re sowing…

        Pretty soon EA is only going to be Battlefield with some sort of in-game economy, FIFA where you have to buy stat packs from its in-game store. Or stuff like Sim City which is always connected so your pollution is passed on to your friend’s city in turn passed on to their friend’s city but hey… great news whenever you buy an ambulance, you get a spare one to share with your Origin friend… and if you don’t like that, there’s always Simpsons: Tapped Out where you can grow some moonshine which takes 24hrs unless you pay 99p or whatever.

        Woohoo!!! Gaming EA-style 2013 & beyond!

        Sod this. I’m off to cut the UK’s Internet backbone :( & fire up my Megadrive :)

  8. And this comes a few days after an EA exec said people were “really embracing the microtransaction model”. Though they’d never admit it publicly, hopefully EA acknowledge it was their changes to the series that drove fans away.

  9. lets hope it has something to do with micro transactions too. I’m hoping they might have learnt their lesson a little.

  10. I hope they keep in this direction that way they’ll have fewer games to release and we’ll hear a lot less shit from them.

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