While EA and Visceral Games may have irrefutably put the Dead Space franchise on the shelf to focus on in-development titles such as Battlefield: Hardline and Star Wars: Battlefront, the publisher’s executive vice president, Patrick Söderland, hinted that we may not have seen the last of Isaac Clarke and co. just yet.
Speaking with Polygon, here’s what Söderland had to say about the future of the series:
“Do I think that we will create a Dead Space game again? Yes, I think so. But when we do so, we have to think about what made the previous ones successful and how we go about envisioning Dead Space for a new generation.
“Now, I’m not announcing a Dead Space game. We’re not building one just to be very clear, but I’m saying is there an opportunity or possibility to do one in the future? Absolutely.”
While sales figures for Dead Space 3 appeared lacklustre when it released in 2013, EA out and out denied reports that the series had effectively been dismembered from the publisher’s IP roster.
In fact, during its presentation at E3 last week, Battlefield: Hardline contained a number of Dead Space-related easter eggs, including nods to the USG Ishimura — the deep space mining vessel that suffered from an Event Horizon-like catastrophe during the maiden entry in the series. As such, it seems the legacy of EA’s horror-themed franchise is very much alive and kicking (Unitologists be damned).
Still, Dead Space has always walked a very fine line between remaining loyal to its horror roots and meeting publisher targets. For one, EA’s mobile boss Frank Gibeau believed that, for the property to maintain its appeal, it would need to ship 5 million units with every iteration; thus instigating a tug of war between a visceral horror experience and trying to appeal to the broadest audience possible.
Whether Dead Space will rear its mutilated head on this most recent console generation remains to be seen, and given EA’s incessant push to make the series a mainstream hit, would it even by the same breed of horror we first glimpsed back in 2008? Time will tell.