So you no doubt have seen the news that Visceral Games would be shutting down, with its heavily awaited Star Wars project being turned over to another studio and revamped with more of a multiplayer focus. But we can’t help but think that the writing might have been on the wall for the company long ago.
Zach Wilson, a level designer who previously worked on Battlefield: Hardline and other Visceral projects, took to Twitter to note some particular problems that arose with one of the company’s bigger games, Dead Space 2.
Now, the game was much beloved by fans, as many considered it just as creepy and exciting as the original title that preceded it. However, according to Wilson, it had its pratfalls, namely with its price.
“Dead Space 2 cost 60 million dollars to make and they were merciless with their budget,” he explained on Twitter. “They only sold 4 mil and that wasn’t enough.”
He continued, “Cause you gotta spend 60 million dollars marketing it and you take a huge hit from MS and retailers taking their cut.”
A fan then asked Wilson about the demand of sales, asking, “When you say ‘wasn’t enough’ do you mean EA expected/demanded more sales or that it didn’t even turn a profit? Would be crazy if the latter.”
He responded, “I don’t know if it turned a profit. But it underperformed, and meeting expectations are as important.”
But that leads to an interesting question. If Dead Space 2 was considered a financial failure for the developer, why did Electronic Arts green-light a third chapter? For that matter, it appeared that the third game actually went through a change in tempo to attract more fans, which didn’t quite work to the series’ advantage. Was that another request by the publisher?
Then there’s Battlefield: Hardline, which was assigned to Visceral while DICE worked on Battlefield 1, which performed admirably enough. Did EA not consider its success while looking at what Dead Space 2 did?
Whatever the case, it could’ve added up to the departure of Visceral. But if you’re a lover of single player games, you should definitely check out the Dead Space trilogy. Well worth it, and you can probably find the games for cheap.