One of EA's top executives says website VideoGamer fabricated news yesterday when it reported that Dead Space 4 was no more. The VideoGamer report, which cited an anonymous source, said that "EA has ceased development on Dead Space 4 and effectively axed the series following lower than anticipated sales of Dead Space 3." Updated with VideoGamer statement.
According to the VideoGamer story, the studio Visceral Montreal (Army of Two) had been prototyping Dead Space 4 when EA came in and cancelled it. VideoGamer also reported that EA pushed the LA-based Visceral Games to make Dead Space 3 "feel more like BioWare's Mass Effect".
Last month, EA laid off a number of Visceral employees and shut down Visceral Montreal.
Multiple EA and Visceral employees denied the VideoGamer rumour yesterday, but not before a number of websites picked up on it, including the trade site GamesIndustry.biz, where EA's Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore took to the comments, calling it a lie:
(EA confirmed to Kotaku that the above comments are really by Moore.)
Moore followed up:
We reached out to VideoGamer this morning, but it declined to comment.
Update: VideoGamer tells us it will be commenting on its own site later today.
Update 2: VideoGamer has released a statement on its website detailing the steps it took to reach out to EA's UK PR. It stands by its story:
VideoGamer.com would never publish information from a source whose identity could not be verified, or that we do not believe to be accurate. We carried out internal checks to verify the validity of the comments made by our source - and while we have a duty of care to protect their identity - we stand by the comments made in the original story.
We would also like to reiterate that we ran the story in good faith, taking the necessary steps with both EA and our source to ensure that the story was as accurate, fair, and well-represented as possible.
We find it perplexing as to why EA changed its stance on its decision not to comment on rumours and speculation, especially given the opportunities that the publisher had to clarify the situation before and after VideoGamer.com published the story. We firmly deny any accusations of fabrication on our part.