Australian Dead Space Developer Shuts its Doors

Australian Dead Space Developer Shuts its Doors

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EA casts the Australian arm of the Dead Space developer into the wild.

Times are tough for Australian game studios. The indie scene may be booming, but a lagging global economy has taken its toll on bigger developers. Visceral Games Melbourne, which collaborated on games like Dead Space and Dante's Inferno, is the recession's latest casualty, taking 21 employees with it.

The news comes by way of the Melbourne Chapter of the International Game Developers' Association, which confirmed the studio's closure via Twitter. So far, EA has not discussed the matter with the press. At the time of its closure, Visceral Games Melbourne was developing a AAA title for the 360 and PS3, although details as to the project's nature and ultimate fate are currently unavailable.

Dead Space, Dante's Inferno, and The Godfather II (another Visceral Games production) had mixed critical reception, but strong sales. If a successful studio branch located in a major city can go under, other studios may follow in its wake. Hopefully, EA will shed some more light on the subject soon.

Source: IGN

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Rumor has it it was closed because the new Vice President of EA's Game Label didn't think the project was sound, financially. So the studio was shut down.

Suppose we'll have to wait for EA's word on the matter.

I would like to know what they were working on. Sometimes the shutdown projects can be quite interesting.

Vicceral Games Melbourne: "Screw you EA we'll start our own studio. With Blackjack, and hookers. In fact, forget the gaming studio and Blackjack."

This is kind of strange studio closing, I mean, didn't all of Visceral's games make a pretty good return?

Will this mean no Dead Space 3?

If that happens then.....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Dead Space 2 was so boring I think I can live without Dead Space 3.

yahtzee would be proud XD

Game sells lots of copies and the studio falls through, there's got to be a hidden issue here, either they paid their staff too much and didn't invest their profits back into developing or EA were taking up too much of the profits that games like Dead Space made.

I'm not going to say by any means that Dead Space 1&2 are perfect but they were bloody good fun and definitely an improvment of Capcoms recent Resident Evil titles.

If this means an end to the god-awful Dead Space franchise then i will dance on a table in only my underwear from dawn 'til dusk while singing St. Elmo's fire. (Ok i probably won't, but i'll still be very happy)
Though i can't imagine that happening 'cause for some reason some people seem to like Dead Space and you don't stop producing what sells, i guess.

So long as no Montreal branches of anyhting start shutting down i'll be fine. And, yes, i was thinking specifically of Ubisoft in caseyou were wondering.

Worgen:
This is kind of strange studio closing, I mean, didn't all of Visceral's games make a pretty good return?

Yeah, i mean, the closure of blackrock studios by disney was evil, but understandable, brilliant as split/second and pure were, they didn't do to well. That, And disney is pure unfiltered evil wearing mouse ears.

But I coulda swore that even dante's inferno, one of the weaker games to emerge out of the studio, was pretty successful. What the hell, EA?

Also, does anyone know how many other studios visceral have besides the australian one? Call me a dribbling moron, but the dead space trilogy demands completion.

Worgen:
This is kind of strange studio closing, I mean, didn't all of Visceral's games make a pretty good return?

Ulquiorra4sama:
If this means an end to the god-awful Dead Space franchise then i will dance on a table in only my underwear from dawn 'til dusk while singing St. Elmo's fire. (Ok i probably won't, but i'll still be very happy)
Though i can't imagine that happening 'cause for some reason some people seem to like Dead Space and you don't stop producing what sells, i guess.

Terminate421:
Will this mean no Dead Space 3?

If that happens then.....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Sigh. Does anyone read the article anymore? This is one arm, a rather minor one at that, of Visceral that is closing. The rest of the company is still intact. If the project Melbourne was looking like a flop, and they weren't going to be doing anything guaranteed to work, then it would be the removal of dead weight. It's entirely possible that they will form their own studio and create a block buster (As has often happened in the past), or they might merge with another - we don't know. It says in the article they collaborated with other parts of Visceral on those games, not that they were responsible for wholly developing them. For all we know, they might have done what some Rockstar studios do and just ported them or worked on one aspect of the games.

But Dead Space isn't going anywhere, Visceral as a brand isn't going anywhere, nothing is happening bar the closure of a small part of a larger company.

Doclector:
Also, does anyone know how many other studios visceral have besides the australian one? Call me a dribbling moron, but the dead space trilogy demands completion.

Dead Space is a Trilogy? I thought the second one offered enough closure to be the end.

Ummmm wait a minute. Weren't they pretty successful in producing profitable triple A titles quickly and under budget? Why do you close the doors on that? It feels like the FOX methodology where moderate hits are unacceptable and get canned in the hopes of attaining mega hits.

coldalarm:
Sigh. Does anyone read the article anymore?

Well to be fair the article is a little misleading. For that matter I didn't know there was anything to visceral games beyond melbourne, because frankly I don't know that much about visceral games. It's the articles job to properly inform people and since confusion doesn't seem to be an isolated incident I think it's fair to say it's not the reader's fault for misunderstanding.

Though I will second your sentiments on Dead Space. An IP that large wouldn't go anywhere even after the death of it's original studio.

coldalarm:

Worgen:
This is kind of strange studio closing, I mean, didn't all of Visceral's games make a pretty good return?

Ulquiorra4sama:
If this means an end to the god-awful Dead Space franchise then i will dance on a table in only my underwear from dawn 'til dusk while singing St. Elmo's fire. (Ok i probably won't, but i'll still be very happy)
Though i can't imagine that happening 'cause for some reason some people seem to like Dead Space and you don't stop producing what sells, i guess.

Terminate421:
Will this mean no Dead Space 3?

If that happens then.....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Sigh. Does anyone read the article anymore? This is one arm, a rather minor one at that, of Visceral that is closing. The rest of the company is still intact. If the project Melbourne was looking like a flop, and they weren't going to be doing anything guaranteed to work, then it would be the removal of dead weight. It's entirely possible that they will form their own studio and create a block buster (As has often happened in the past), or they might merge with another - we don't know. It says in the article they collaborated with other parts of Visceral on those games, not that they were responsible for wholly developing them. For all we know, they might have done what some Rockstar studios do and just ported them or worked on one aspect of the games.

But Dead Space isn't going anywhere, Visceral as a brand isn't going anywhere, nothing is happening bar the closure of a small part of a larger company.

I read the article, and i know it's not a very major branch. But a guy can hope it'll have some major effect, can't he?

Terminate421:
Will this mean no Dead Space 3?

If that happens then.....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

My reaction as well, but on the other hand... No Dante's Inferno II. <3

Ulquiorra4sama:
I read the article, and i know it's not a very major branch. But a guy can hope it'll have some major effect, can't he?

No, because that's selfish?

Do what I do, as it's very simple - Just ignore it.

I suspect half of these shutdowns are to reopen them in other places to take advantage of tax breaks. Fire most of the staff, move the team principles to news studio. DADA new studio whith nice shiny tax breaks

I would hardly say that Dead Space had a mixed critical reaction. Most of the reviews were pretty positive.

So a small arm of a successful developer closed odds are their current project either went bust or was looking rather dismal and they cut their losses fairly common in any business to restructure or dissolve an underperformind division that all that happened here. The whole of Visceral is probably going to end up stronger not trying to carry the extra weght.

Honestly, I think this is more to do with EA's dodgy finances than anything to do with the relative success of the studio in question.

While it's trying to convince everyone that it's changed its stripes, EA is still very much operating on the same vampiric, suck-em-dry-then-disgard-them business model that's kept it going for years. In an ideal industry, helping develop games that generate strong sales should be a guarantee against closure. As it is now, EA is throwing around ludicrous amounts of money, hedging all its bets in a few developers (Bioware and Dice), and other developers are suffering. EA only has a certain amount of money coming in, yet it still feels the need to spend ludicrous amounts of money buying up other developers and publishers (Popcap springs to mind), as well as throwing mind boggling amounts of cash marketing things like Battlefield and The Old Republic. Because of this, other developers are being made to suffer regardless of how well they're doing.

...Why no, I'm not still bitter about the whole Pandemic ordeal. Not at all. What makes you ask?

So now we're starting to see the great shadow caused by the strong Aussie dollar. Much like China, we're only useful when we work cheap.

Oh well, it's a bummer to hear that the studio's being shut down but...

...The main branch for Visceral's still fine.

Ulquiorra4sama:
If this means an end to the god-awful Dead Space franchise then i will dance on a table in only my underwear from dawn 'til dusk while singing St. Elmo's fire. (Ok i probably won't, but i'll still be very happy)
Though i can't imagine that happening 'cause for some reason some people seem to like Dead Space and you don't stop producing what sells, i guess.

So long as no Montreal branches of anyhting start shutting down i'll be fine. And, yes, i was thinking specifically of Ubisoft in caseyou were wondering.

The irony of someone with a Bleach avatar and username calling something "god-awful" is making me cry from laughter. Thank you for making my day a little better.

OT; Poorly written article that does a really bad job of pointing out that it's just a small branch of Visceral.

halo3rulzer:

Doclector:
Also, does anyone know how many other studios visceral have besides the australian one? Call me a dribbling moron, but the dead space trilogy demands completion.

Dead Space is a Trilogy? I thought the second one offered enough closure to be the end.

It did, but I coulda sworn I heard somewhere about it being intended as a trilogy (on that note, it is nice to see a continuous storyline without too many major annoying cliffhangers).

Also, at the end of dead space 2:

 

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