Yesterday, we learned EA put down Visceral Games. The studio is best-remembered for the Dead Space titles, but it was also working on an untitled Star Wars game that will resume development under EA.
Former Visceral employee Zach Wilson expressed his regrets about the closure on his Twitter account. Though Wilson currently works with Bethesda, his previous work on Dead Space 2 gives us some insight on how difficult it is to make a triple-A game "successful" by publishers' standards—even when that game sells millions.
"Dead Space 2 cost 60 Million dollars to make and they were merciless with their budget. they only sold 4 mil and that wasn't enough," he Tweeted last night. "cause you gotta spend 60 million dollars marketing it and you take a huge hit from MS and retailers taking their cut."
Dead Space 2 cost 60 Million dollars to make and they were merciless with their budget. they only sold 4 mil and that wasn't enough— Zach Wilson (@covernode) October 17, 2017
Wilson says his numbers are approximate. He also can't say for sure if Dead Space failed to turn a profit; just that it "underperformed" and "meeting expectations are as important."
"EA makes $30 per copy after retailers and console makers take their cut. Then consider that a chunk of the game was sold on sale," Wilson added.
The death of Visceral has some of us wondering if triple-A single-player games are an endangered species. Are we heading towards a future that's All Destiny, All the Time?
I'm not a seer. However, I advise all lovers of the single-player experience to turn their eyes towards Super Mario Odyssey and begin praying.(Special thanks to NeoGAF)