There seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding EA and its Dead Space franchise of late. According to VideoGamer, the company may be shutting the franchise down. Reportedly, Dead Space 3 has failed to meet sales targets and EA executives visited Visceral Montreal in February to inform the staff that the project had been terminated.
Back in 2012, EA Labels' President Frank Gibeau said Dead Space 3 would need to sell around five million copies in order for the series to survive. While the company hasn't revealed sales numbers yet, the game has been praised by critics despite having a microtransactions system. However, some have voiced their concerns about the game's emphasis on combat over horror.
VideoGamer's source said Dead Space 3 had almost been cancelled during its development and the game's budget saw many cuts. EA had also advised Visceral that Dead Space 3 would have to appeal to a wider audience than the earlier games in the series. The developers were reportedly told to focus on action rather than horror to get more mainstream appeal.
In its response to the reports, EA stated, “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.”
Could this be the last we see of Isaac Clarke?
Recently, gaming industry legend Cliff Bleszinski defended EA's decision to include microtransactions in its games. He said that gamers who disagree with the company should vote with their wallets. “The video game industry is just that. An industry,” Bleszinski wrote.
He talked about how companies are free to try and derive a profit from their products in whatever way they may wish thanks to capitalism and the free market. Gamers are supposed to vote with their wallets and not buy something that they feel is wrong. To finish off his point, Bleszinski writes, “You vote with your dollars.”
Back in February, it was revealed that EA plans to include microtransactions in all of its future games. “The next and much bigger piece [of the business] is microtransactions within games,” EA CFO Blake Jorgensen had said at the time. “We're building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way, either to get to a higher level to buy a new character, to buy a truck, a gun, whatever it might be.”
This could be problematic as the company may start making games more difficult just to push consumers towards the microtransactions. While this issue isn't found in Dead Space 3, a cynical person could say that it's only a matter of time before we're forced to buy a gun in a game because unlocking it takes an impractical amount of time.
Dead Space 3 would be the first game in the series to feature a micro-transaction system. Another unlikely candidate for micro-transactions that EA managed was the multiplayer component of last year’s Mass Effect 3. The game featured micro-transactions to buy trading card-styled “booster packs” of randomised weapons, abilities and power-ups.
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