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The choice to make a comic was easy: EA had already hired award-winning writer Antony Johnston to help develop the script for Dead Space, so why not ask him to do a comic as well? Of course, they needed an appropriate artist to match the horrific setting, and found a perfect match in Johnston's friend Ben Templesmith, an artist who brought the horrific world of 30 Days of Night to life with his frightening visuals.
Though there were a handful of videogame comics that came before 2008, the success of the World of Warcraft and Dead Space series proved that comics could be a valuable partner for the videogame industry. This was especially true with Dead Space, as Visceral used so many different types of media to showcase the Dead Space universe it was hard for people not to take notice. The months that followed the Dead Space media blitz were littered with many other development studios announcing they were signing deals to bring their franchises to the comic page.
In April of 2008, DC Comics announced that their imprint WildStorm Productions would begin publishing series based on Epic Games' Gears of War and Radical Entertainment's Prototype. In July of the same year, it was announced that WildStorm would also be publishing series based off of Capcom's Resident Evil and Devil May Cry properties, as well as DICE's Mirror's Edge. Beyond this, Blizzard announced at Blizzcon 2008 that StarCraft would be getting the comic treatment, also to be published by WildStorm.
In 2009, BioWare announced a deal with Dark Horse Comics to produce both online comics and a physical mini-series based on the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic, as well as a Mass Effect comic to be released concurrently with Mass Effect 2.
Publisher EA liked the idea of videogame comics so much they teamed with IDW Publishing to create a brand-new imprint called EA Comics, which was announced in late 2009. This imprint has since released two titles: Army of Two and Dragon Age, the latter of which was written by none other than Orson Scott Card, the bestselling author of the Ender's Game series. Though no new series have been announced through EA Comics, one can only imagine what grand plans EA has for their big-name titles.
Even Eidos, which had much success with the Tomb Raider comics, returned to the comic fold and signed a deal with DC Comics in 2010 to produce a mini-series based on their upcoming Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
What does this mean for the future? With the advent of eReaders and tablet PCs, our society is quickly moving away from print media to media derived exclusively in the digital realm. Comics might be a big thing right now, but how will companies like Visceral Games transfer their success with print to this new form of media?