Dead Space 4 has not been canned, according to EA. Earlier today, rumored surrounding the future of the series were questioned after a source of VideoGamer’s said sales of Dead Space 3 were poor, causing the firm to pull the plug on Visceral Games’ franchise.
The plot thickened yesterday as EA’s Peter Moore took to Games Industry to deny Videogamer’s original story, in which an anonymous source told them that Dead Space 4 had been canned.
Moore told the site, “Standard, shoddy website journalism recipe, born out of a desperate need to increase click-thru rates to support advertising revenue. Fabricate a story using an ‘unnamed source,’ post it first thing in the morning, add the letters ‘EA’ to the story (oh, and link it to micro-transactions – always a fan favourite) and then stand back and enjoy the vitriol which you turn into revenue. Rinse and repeat.
“My comments were fairly and squarely aimed at Videogamer. My issue is not the rejection of community feedback (we get that in bucketloads all day long and we learn from it in real time), rather it was the fabrication of a story in order to generate controversy and ultimately readership.”
Videogamer stated that it originally contacted EA on Monday in an attempt to verify its source’s claims, however the site was told by a PR rep to wait until Tuesday, as the official line was yet to come from its US branch.
The site gave EA a right to reply for many hours to clarify or deny the story, but it eventually received a “does not comment on rumour and speculation” boilerplate, which is standard when publishers want to dodge questions.
With EA’s response in the bag, the site ran with the story, sparking Moore’s rebuttal above, and a torrent of denial Tweets from EA and Visceral staff. Videogamer then decided to run the following statement to clarify the issue.
“VideoGamer.com would never publish information from a source whose identity could not be verified, or that we do not believe to be accurate. We carried out internal checks to verify the validity of the comments made by our source – and while we have a duty of care to protect their identity – we stand by the comments made in the original story.
“We would also like to reiterate that we ran the story in good faith, taking the necessary steps with both EA and our source to ensure that the story was as accurate, fair, and well-represented as possible.
“We find it perplexing as to why EA changed its stance on its decision not to comment on rumours and speculation, especially given the opportunities that the publisher had to clarify the situation before and after VideoGamer.com published the story. We firmly deny any accusations of fabrication on our part.”
Eurogamer reports that both Gamasutra and Gamespot received statements from EA after the incident to say that the Dead Space 4 rumour was untrue. As the site correctly asks, if these statements were sent out to openly deny the rumour, then why didn’t EA deny it to Videogamer in the first place, before it ran the story?
When Videogamer enquired as to who had written the statement sent to Gamespot and Gamasutra, they replied that EA’s Corporate Comms team has drafted the note.
According to a tweet from Gamasutra, the rumor that the Dead Space franchise has been canceled is “patently false.”
Here’s the tweet in full:
“Rumors about poor Dead Space 3 sales and an unannounced Dead Space 4 being cancelled are are “patently false,” EA tells us. Spread the word!”
Speaking with Videogamer, a supposed source close to the matter has stated that Dead Space 4 was in pre-production at Visceral, but was shuttered following weak sales of its predecessor. Before it was axed, a team at Visceral Montreal was said to have been creating prototypes and plot concepts for the game.
The blow came as Dead Space 3 allegedly failed to hit its proposed sales target, and saw EA executives meeting with Visceral Montreal to tell them the production had been terminated.