Lower than expected sales of Dead Space 3 have forced EA to cancel the sequel and effectively axe the IP, a report claims.
VideoGamer has word from an unspecified source that Dead Space 4 was already in pre-production at Visceral Games. However, sales of former UK No.1 Dead Space 3 fell short of internal targets and the game has now been canned.
The site adds that Visceral Montreal has closed as a result of the decision, with no plans to resurrect the IP in the near future.
In fact, Dead Space 3 apparently neared cancellation at one point and had to endure several budget cuts. The inclusion of generic ammunition and microtransactions was apparently decided upon late in the game's development.
EA had previously stated that Dead Space 3 would need to shift around 5m units for the series to survive. Indeed, that was very much the reasoning behind focusing on action at the expense of horror in the game. EA told MCV last July that internal research suggested that the scares in both Dead Space 1 and 2 would likely put some consumers off.
But with the new game selling a over 25 per cent fewer units in its first week in the UK than its predecessor, those numbers now look unlikely.
UPDATED: Gamasutra has Tweeted the following debunk: Rumours about poor Dead Space 3 sales and an unannounced Dead Space 4 being cancelled are ‘patently false', EA tells us. Spread the word!”
We're not expecting any further details, however, with editor-in-chief Kris Graft adding: We're not doing anything else on it aside from that Tweet to spread the word. Not a fan of running non-stories.”
In addition, the UI lead at Dead Space developer Visceral Dino Ignacio has also denied the claims, Tweeting: "The reports of our death were greatly exaggerated. Please stand by."
Furthermore, an EA rep insisted to Jotstiq that "the franchise remains an important IP to EA".
All in all, this one is looking less and less likely.