Despite being in the early stages of development, Dead Space 4 has been cancelled following the disappointing sales of Dead Space 3.
That’s according to a report published this morning, citing an anonymous source close to the unannounced project. Should it be true the revelation casts doubt over the future of the once-promising action horror series.
The source claims that Dead Space 4 was in production at developer Visceral Games, with a small team working on prototypes and potential narratives for the game.
However, following the failure of Dead Space 3 to live up to EA’s expectations, the publisher visited the studio last month to inform the team that work should stop.
In addition to this the source also provided some insight into the development of Dead Space 3 and none of it reflects well on EA.
Apparently the game endured several budget cuts and at one point was almost cancelled. What’s more the publisher is said to have ordered Visceral to change the ammo system in the game to allow for a microtransaction implementation.
Dead Space 3’s microtransactions would go on to cause quite a stir, generating ill-will for the title before it was even released.
The source claims that Dead Space 3 was to feature a weapon-specific ammo system, but it made a potential microtransaction system cumbersome, so generic ammo was introduced instead.
During development and post-release much of the discussion around Dead Space 3 centered on the game’s continuing shift towards all-out action and away from the series’ creepy horror.
According to the source this was a publisher-led decision, as EA wanted the game to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. The studio was reportedly told to make Dead Space 3 feel more like Mass Effect.
Unfortunately for both EA and Visceral, Dead Space 3’s shift wasn’t enough to secure the future of the series. Launched last month first week sales were down 26.6 per cent on those of Dead Space 2.
It has slid pretty quickly down the UK charts too, suggesting that sales are dropping pretty sharply.
EA has yet to comment.