In October 2017, Visceral Studios was shut down and with it, ended their work on an in-progress Star Wars title while the Dead Space franchise was sent to the retirement home.
Fast-forward nearly four years to 2021, and there are strong rumours that a Dead Space remake is in the works as well as a potential movie. This leaves us with a really strong urge to ask, why? Why now and why at all.
Dead Space Remake
The reason we ask why, is the timing of this decision. Given the time and effort that goes into a decision like this becoming reality, the chances are this Dead Space remake project was given the green light years ago.
Visceral were initially taken away from Dead Space to work on Battlefield: Hardline. They then moved onto a Star Wars project before being shut down. Now EA decides not long after that Dead Space needs a remake?
Maybe it's the cynic in us that chooses to believe EA would make such a move. It's entirely possible that this decision is a recent one and the Dead Space remake is only in the early stages of pre-production.
It still leaves us asking why now, in 2021, while still in the midst of a global pandemic, that Dead Space is coming back from the dead.
Remake, Reboot, Who Knows
The Dead Space remake project has also been touted as more of a reboot by some. It's sometimes hard to distinguish the two all that much but we'll have a go at trying to explain.
A Dead Space remake would keep a large part of the content, setting and assets from the original game and give them a shiny upgrade to look good on the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles. It's Dead Space at the core and instantly recognizable.
Resident Evil 2 is being used as the standard for a remake, despite the changes that were made, it didn't cross over into reboot territory.
Rebooting Dead Space would indicate that there is potentially a new canon being created. Everything about the original is on the cutting board and what comes out the other side could be unrecognizable.
What About The Callisto Protocol?
Here's where things get even more complicated. A spiritual successor to Dead Space already exists and is under development. It's even being made by the creators of the original Dead Space game.
The Callisto Protocol was revealed at The Game Awards 2020 with a trailer and introduction from Glen Schofield, a veteran game developer including working on the original Dead Space.
With this project out in the wild, it again makes EA's decision to bring back Dead Space all the more puzzling. If you're trying to appeal to the fanbase of the original with the Dead Space remake, you're likely starting in 2nd place to this project which has much more heart and passion behind it.
We're keen to see what EA have to reveal at EA Play so we finally have some clarity on the project.