Dead Space plagued by cancellation rumours

Just a month after release of the latest game, rumours are already swirling that we’ve seen the last of the Dead Space franchise. Early reports suggest that due to “poor sales”, early development on Dead Space 4 has been halted, and the entire franchise axed. EA, on the other hand, argues this is not the case.

The official statement from Electronic Arts, framed as a denial, is somewhat ambiguous:

While we have not announced sales for Dead Space 3, we are proud of the game and the franchise remains an important IP to EA.

[img_big]center,9565,2013-02-05/ds3_lunar_colony_07_tga_jpgcopy.jpg,Dead Space 3[/img_big]

The unfortunate thing for EA is that the news is, simply, quite believable. It follows on from the closure of Visceral Montreal, a studio that had contributed to Dead Space 3, and the ongoing “restructuring” of the publisher’s inhous developers.

EA has also gone on record announcing that “core game franchises” (of which Dead Space is one), need to sell at least five million copies to remain viable – and that’s before sequels start being considered.

It’s also no secret that gamers – even long-time Dead Space fans – are wary of this new release. The game departs from its hallmark survival horror style, taking a co-op multiplayer approach which traditionalist fans are less-than-excited by. There are also the dreaded microtransactions, which the more hardcore fans are reportedly boycotting.

All of this adds up to a less-than stunning launch for Dead Space 3. While – as EA states – sales figures have not yet been released, we do have some statistics from the UKIE charts. On debut, Dead Space 3 topped the UK all-format charts, but it did so with 26.6% fewer sales than Dead Space 2, which launched two years ago in the same, post-Christmas timeframe.

After all that, EA‘s maintains the original report is “patently false”, as it continues to promote Dead Space 3 DLC. The Awakened expansion is rumoured for release later this month.

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