Why Dead Space 3 was a failure

EA has just posted their earnings call for last quarter.  Big surprise, they are saying that Dead Space 3 (and Crysis 3, but who really cares about that?) didn’t meet the grand expectations they had anticipated for it.

Who didn’t see this one coming?

Here is a great franchise that probably won’t exist anymore because EA didn’t know how to properly sell the title.  Changing the mechanics to suit a more action-oriented playstyle may have pulled in a decent new group of people, but it most likely alienated a fair share of those who loved the first two entries in the series.  I played through DS3 pretty recently (review coming shortly!) and definitely thought it was the weakest entry yet in the franchise.  Still, kudos to Visceral Games for still making it a fantastic game–just not one that lines up with my, and other fans’, expectations of how the game should have been.

EA needs to figure this out before they kill any other fantastic IPs.  Every game isn’t destined to be a top-selling blockbuster hit; some games are inevitably going to have a smaller audience in today’s gaming market.  The trick (says someone with no knowledge of actually putting out a game, mind you) is to manage the budget and financial expectations of a game based on the size of the potential audience.  A smaller, scale DS3 would have been slightly disappointing after the fantastic DS2, but it would probably have been truer to the original tone of the series and may have been more palatable to fans.

With the gaming market as hit-or-miss as it is nowadays, publishers need to figure out the best way to make these smaller-market games successful with the right size and budget for the product.  It is unfair for developers to be shuttered or moved to new, lesser projects just because the publishers don’t have a proper knowledge of the industry.  Making games doesn’t need to be so hostile; it’s just that a new way needs to be found for these more niche titles coming from a large publisher.

Source – Seeking Alpha

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