Dead Space 4 isn't in development, EA has confirmed.
The news follows a report from March 2013 that claimed EA had canned the Dead Space series following poor sales of Dead Space 3 and closed down developer Visceral. EA denied this at the time.
In an interview with Eurogamer at E3 this week EA Games Label boss Patrick Söderlund denied the Dead Space franchise has been ditched outright, but did confirm that Dead Space 4, which was reportedly in pre-production before being canned, was not in the works.
"I wouldn't say it's [Dead Space franchise] cancelled at all," Söderlund said.
"Dead Space remains a brand that is close to Electronic Arts' heart. It's been a great brand for us done by a very passionate team.
"Is that team working on a Dead Space game today? No they're not. They're working on something else very exciting. You have to think of it from that perspective. Is it better to put them on the fourth version of a game they've done three previous versions of before? Or is it better to put them on something new that they want to build, that they have passion for?
"I am of the utmost opinion that we have to put the best possible games in the hands of our fans. How you get to a great game, the first thing you need is a great development team that have a passion for building what they're building. That's a simple parameter. Everything else follows. Money, time, everything else follows. It's less relevant. That's ultimately how you get success. It's as simple as that."
"Will there be another Dead Space game? Who knows? Have we killed it? No, of course not. But right now that dev team is focused on something else that you and other gamers will be very happy with."EA Games Label boss Patrick Söderlund
In February EA executive Frank Gibeau confirmed layoffs at EA's Los Angeles and Montreal developers. EA had gone on the record to say its core game franchises needed to sell upwards of five million copies to remain viable - something Dead Space 3 did not achieve.
According to the initial report by VideoGamer.com, Dead Space 3 suffered a somewhat troubled development. Apparently weapon-specific ammo was switched for generic ammo late in the day to accommodate the game's controversial micro-transactions, and Visceral was ordered to take the series into a more action-focused direction in order to emulate BioWare's Mass Effect franchise and broaden its appeal.
Dead Space 3 topped the UK all-format chart upon release, albeit with 26.6 per cent fewer sales than its predecessor. Dead Space 2 launched two years ago in a similar post-Christmas slot.
Söderlund added: "Will there be another Dead Space game? Who knows? Have we killed it? No, of course not. But right now that dev team is focused on something else that you and other gamers will be very happy with."