Following news that EA had decided to shut down developer Visceral Games, new information has appeared which suggests that the studio’s financial woes may stretch all the way back to the development of Dead Space 2.
Former Visceral level designer Zach Wilson took to Twitter and revealed that Dead Space 2 cost about $60 million to produce. Despite the costs, the game only sold around 4 million copies.
Wilson also noted that EA was “merciless” when it came to their spending on Dead Space 2. Wilson hinted that a large chunk of that money went towards the game’s promotion which may have severely cut into the eventual profits from the sequel’s seemingly respectable sales figures. Furthermore, Wilson touched upon the impact that Sony and Microsoft’s cuts of the money had on the game’s overall profits.
He’s not the only former Visceral member talking about the studio’s financial history. Former Visceral game director Scott Warner noted on his Twitter account that Visceral’s downfall can be traced to numerous outside factors, but cautioned fans against simply blaming EA for all of the studio’s woes.
The full story of Visceral’s closure will likely not be told for months – if it is ever really told at all – but the information that’s been leaked so far seems to suggest that the relative fame of Visceral’s games – notably the Dead Space franchise – didn’t ever seem to translate to tremendous sales. We know that Dead Space 3 also underperformed at retail, but there’s only speculation as it relates to the original Dead Space‘s market success.
So far as that goes, though, it seems that Dead Space was a much cheaper production all around. It may have sold fewer units than the sequels, but its lesser costs may have had greatly helped the bottom line.
Lost in this talk, of course, is the sad fact that great games don’t always perform as well as they probably deserve to. Whether you’ve never played them before or are looking to do so again, we highly recommend experiencing the Dead Space series this Halloween season.