Posted by Raine Hutchens on Jun 15, 2012

EA Says Dead Space 3 Is ‘Opening Up To A Larger Audience’


As a loyal Dead Space fan, I’ll admit that I wasn’t exactly the happiest when I saw the new changes being implemented in the third installment of the game. Don’t get me wrong, I was super happy when the game got announced in the first place, but after seeing how it played out, my level of impressiveness fell. Visceral has decided to introduce dodging rolls and use of cover fire, making the game look more like an action shooter than a survival horror title that it was intended to be. EA has spoken out about the changes in the game, saying that Dead Space 3 is “opening up to a larger audience.”

EA executive Frank Gibeau spoke to CVG about the new features in the game, and while they may take Dead Space 3 in a new direction, Gibeau knows that they can’t be introduced at the cost of losing the original dedicated fans of the series.  “We tried to open up the accessibility of the IP a little bit by adding more action, but not undermining the horror. We can’t not be a horror game because that’s what Dead Space is,” said Gibeau.

He continued to explain, “So with the addition of co-op and taking it to a planet and mostly away from space… we’re pushing it in areas such as environment, co-op, and at the same time we definitely do not want to piss off our fans by taking it too far from horror.” It’s good that Gibeau is aware of this, because some fans already feel the game is doing exactly what he’s intending it not to.

Fans of Dead Space play the game to live out a horror experience. It’s the same thing we’ve seen with the Resident Evil series. That entire franchise has turned into an action shooter, and the original enemies that were implemented into the game to scare players aren’t even there anymore. Many fans have given up on that series, and it can happen to Dead Space if EA and Visceral don’t play their cards right. Nowadays game developers can’t seem to live by the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Gibeau continued to elaborate on his view of where Dead Space 3 is going. “Ultimately you need to get to audience sizes of around five million to really continue to invest in an IP like Dead Space. Anything less than that and it becomes quite difficult financially given how expensive it is to make games and market them.” Ah, there it is – the kicker. So EA doesn’t necessarily want to introduce these changes to help make the game more playable for gamers’ sake, they just want the game to make as much money as possible.

This whole ordeal makes me wonder exactly what kind of pressure Visceral is under. Are they trembling at the pointing finger of EA? Are they tweaking a game that fans love simply to make the publisher happy? Whatever the reason is, I just hope that Dead Space 3 releases as the game we’re pulling for it to be.


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