Dead Space 2 Remake Reportedly Canceled For Sadly Familiar Reason

The Dead Space series is once again on the shelf for a reason that is sadly becoming a franchise tradition.

Dead Space Remake
Photo: EA

EA recently announced that developer Motive Studio will be assisting in the development of the Battlefield franchise while continuing their work on an upcoming Iron Man game. Fans of that studio quickly realized that many of the people involved with Motive’s critically acclaimed 2023 Dead Space remake are now seemingly working on at least one of those two other projects. Yet, EA made no mention of the Dead Space 2 remake that Motive was reportedly supposed to be working on. That notable lack of information caused Dead Space fans to fear the worst.

Now, Jeff Grubb is reporting that Motive has essentially shelved their previously planned Dead Space 2 remake for a reason that has long haunted the Dead Space franchise like so many Necromorphs: disappointing sales.

“They were working on Dead Space 2, and they are no longer working on it,” said Grubb during a recent podcast regarding Motive’s upcoming projects. “It is on the shelf because ‘the first game had lackluster sales’ is how it was phrased to me.”

Grubb goes on to say that the Dead Space 2 remake was reportedly in development somewhere around the “concept phase” when the decision was made to put it on the shelf. While he suggested that Motive could theoretically pick up that project at a later date, it certainly doesn’t sound like we should expect to see that sequel any time soon.

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However, an EA representative recently informed IGN that there is “no validity” to the story that Motive was actively working on a Dead Space 2 remake. Crucially, though, the wording of their statement doesn’t necessarily shoot down the report that the Dead Space remake suffered from lackluster sales. If anything, it seems to suggest that a Dead Space 2 remake isn’t even on the company’s radar at the moment.

So how bad were the Dead Space remake’s sales? That’s a really good question. The game’s official sales figures have never been formally shared, though sales reports released shortly after the game’s debut certainly suggested that it at least got off to a strong start. There is a popular belief that the game ended up selling somewhere around 2 million copies, though there doesn’t seem to be anything out there that solidly supports that figure. In any case, it doesn’t seem like EA was happy with the game’s sales, whatever that final number may be.

Unfortunately, this issue has always plagued the Dead Space franchise. 2007’s Dead Space had reportedly only sold around 1 million copies about six months after its release, which EA viewed as a commercial disappointment. Still, the game’s incredible reviews and potential to kick off a new franchise were seemingly good enough to get Dead Space 2 greenlit. Sadly, that game reportedly sold about as many copies as its predecessor but was considered to be even more of a commercial failure due to its significantly larger budget. The Dead Space 3 team tried to make numerous changes to the franchise formula to bolster its commercial appeal, but that sequel seemingly ended up being the worst-selling (and worst-reviewed) game in the original Dead Space trilogy. At that point, the franchise was considered to be truly dead.

Even still, there were many reasons to hope the Dead Space remake could turn the series’ sales fortunes around. Fondness and acclaim for the franchise have only grown during its prolonged period of relative dormancy, the remake utilized some of the core elements that made Resident Evil 2 Remake such a commercial success, and the reviews for the Dead Space remake were almost universally glowing. Yet, it too reportedly failed to meet currently undefined internal sales expectations.

So why is the Dead Space franchise such a consistent commercial disappointment? Well, if you were one of the many who seemingly didn’t buy the Dead Space remake, then perhaps you could be so good as to share your thoughts on this topic. At the very least, it seems safe to say that many have historically overestimated the series’ commercial success because it is spoken about so lovingly by those who have purchased and played those games. Ultimately, maybe Dead Space suffers from the same “problem” that has long prevented the Silent Hill franchise from achieving true blockbuster status: it’s just too damn scary.

Regardless, I too would love to see Motive deliver the kind of Dead Space 2 remake that their work on the phenomenal Dead Space remake suggests they are more than capable of delivering. At this point, though, it’s difficult to imagine what it will take for Dead Space to finally achieve the sales figures that properly represent its quality and impact on the genre.

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