Last month, multiple sources reported that EA Motive might be working on a new Dead Space game, more specifically a remake of the original. While I should be thrilled about a new installment, the news left me feeling bittersweet.
There’s no denying that Dead Space and its first sequel are some of the best horror games made to date. Dead Space 3 also sold reasonably well, despite its divisive reception (I wasn’t a huge fan, personally.) For years I’ve wanted a new game in that universe, but now that it might be a reality, I don’t think it should exist.
The fantastic team at the now-disbanded Visceral Games created the Dead Space franchise. Although another team is fully capable of taking the reins, the fact that EA closed Visceral down leaves a sour taste in my mouth. One of the reasons Visceral Games was closed down was that EA wanted to focus more on multiplayer experiences. Except for games like Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect Andromeda, and Mirror’ Edge: Catalyst, most games published by EA in the years following Visceral’s closure focused on competitive and cooperative multiplayer.
Embracing single player games once again
For a while, it seemed like multiplayer-only games were the way of the future, at least for EA. But companies like Sony and Nintendo continuously proved that idea wrong, with the success of titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Super Mario Odyssey. The market for single player games hadn’t gone away, and EA seemed to overlook that.
What I think changed EA’s strategy is the success of Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. The soulslike title set in the Star Wars universe received plenty of praise, and sold a solid number of copies.
Now, EA is focusing on bringing back Dead Space. Whether it’s a full-fledged sequel or a remake is yet to be seen. The issue for me is that EA closed Visceral because of its lack of faith in single player games, only to bring the franchise back a few years later with a different studio. In my opinion, that sequence of events alone makes the whole situation feel unsavory.
Is EA Motive the right team for Dead Space?
Another issue is the team behind the supposed new Dead Space game, EA Motive. Motive is responsible for the campaign of Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Star Wars Squadrons. In my opinion, neither of those games qualify the studio to take on Dead Space‘s legacy, with Battlefront 2‘s campaign being forgettable, and Squadrons arguably not living up to the standard of the games that came before it.
EA Motive is 0 for 2 in my book, and I don’t have much faith based on the studio’s track record. Many in my social circles are excited about the franchise’s resurgence, but I am pessimistic about it. It is great to see that the series isn’t completely dead, but without the original team, what’s the point?
Then there’s the reality that many people lost their jobs because EA didn’t have faith in single player games. In light of the company’s recent apparent change of heart just adds salt to the wound. I think that EA passing the reins to another team is a disservice to fans, and it’s also a slap in the face to the people who created the IP in the first place.
EA might be bringing Dead Space back to stop the competition
It leaves me wondering if EA is trying to beat Striking Distance Studios to the punch by releasing the new Dead Space title before The Calisto Protocol. The Calisto Protocol is a horror game set in the PUBG‘s universe. The kicker is that the game is being developed by Glen Schofield, one of the main creative minds behind the Dead Space franchise. When that trailer launched, many people got excited because it reminded them of Dead Space.
If anything, all the developments surrounding the reimagining of Dead Space have me leaning more towards The Calisto Protocol instead.
Looking towards new IPs should be the focus
Fans have been clamoring for a new Dead Space for almost a decade. However, there are plenty of franchises on hiatus that people have wanted to make a comeback. These include Def Jam, the Street series of sports games, and SSX. While these franchises are renowned, maybe it’s time for something new.
The gaming industry is full of sequels and reboots. I believe that instead of revisiting the past, EA should use its studios to make brand new IP. Imagine making a new horror series akin to Dead Space instead of bringing the IP back?
Many will be thrilled to experience a new Dead Space in the future, but maybe revisiting the series isn’t the best course of action right now, especially considering the circumstance of the franchise’s original closure. Without the original team and with a studio that hasn’t proven itself to make a great game, what’s the point of bringing Dead Space back to the spotlight?