Dead Space 3 Built For Broader Demographic
EA Labels president, Frank Gibeau spoke to CVG recently regarding the mixed reaction to the newly unveiled Dead Space 3. The gameplay shown at E3 revealed a consistent co-operative partner, gun-fights with other human survivors and a cover system. Given that Dead Space has built its name as one of the industry’s last remaining, triple-A, survival-horror games, these choices are certainly odd ones.
With a surprising lack of beating around the proverbial, Gibeau rationalised the franchise’s side-step:
“In general we’re thinking about how we make this a more broadly appealing franchise, because 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.”
Unfortunately what he gains in candour, he loses in sentiment, as this essentially means the Dead Space we know and love is being eviscerated. We heard much of the same thing from Capcom during the genesis stages of Resident Evil 6, and it seems in this case also, survival-horror has the lost the financial fight against fast-paced-Michael-Bay-ism.
It must however be acknowledged that Gibeau claims the franchise will retain the horror core that defined it; the new elements added are there simply to appeal to a larger crowd.
“We definitely do not want to piss off our fans by taking it too far from horror”
It’s unfortunate, then, that the new confirmed features serve to, in many ways, undermine the best aspects of Dead Space – isolation and helplessness. This being said, Visceral is a brilliant studio, hopefully some way can be found to appease both EA and the franchise’s fans.