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The Real Reason Dead Space 3 Bombed

When the original "Dead Space" was released back in 2008, it looked like the beginning of a long and successful franchise. It received great reviews from critics, especially for the inaugural game in a new series. Among the features that stood out were the minimalist take on a HUD and the need for a careful strategy to take down enemies. Foes proved susceptible to different weapons, and many could be dismembered by players in strategic ways, slowing them down or weakening them to set up the kill.

With such a grand launch to the new series, "Dead Space" was primed for success, and its sequel added to this foundation. "Dead Space 2" garnered even higher praise for building on, polishing, and refining everything that made the original shine. Regrettably, this success would not last. 

When "Dead Space 3" was released in 2013, it was more than just a disappointment. To say it bombed would be an understatement. While there were some positive reviews, "Dead Space 3" left many critics split and fared even worse with playersJim Sterling at Destructoid labeled the game a failure, and, as Gamespot later reported, the third entry in the series did not come close to living up to sales expectations despite earning a place at the top of the charts after its release.

While this may have seemed shocking at the time, it's not difficult to see why "Dead Space 3" bombed.

Gameplay changes and microttransactions ruined Dead Space 3

Facing a much colder response from critics and fans and sales that failed to live up to its hopes, EA quickly canceled the following "Dead Space" game. The franchise would spend years dormant until EA announced a remake for the original "Dead Space." "Dead Space 3" is remembered today as a sequel that ruined its trilogy and seemingly ruined its franchise. Looking back, there were a few reasons why "Dead Space 3" proved so disappointing.

First, the game proved to be too much of a departure from its predecessors' tone and gameplay. While previous entries won fans over with tense survival horror, "Dead Space 3" was more akin to a third-person shooter. This change may have been intended to attract a larger audience (per Eurogamer), but it ultimately alienated the franchise's audience.

Beyond this, "Dead Space 3" earned ire for its use of microtransactions. While microtransactions and loot boxes have since become a regular part of the industry and have made EA an absurd amount of money, this was a much more controversial move at the time. This was perceived as so upsetting that the developer of the upcoming "Dead Space" remake recently made it a point to trash the feature.

Abandoning the style that defined the series and courting controversy with microtransactions ended proved the undoing of "Dead Space 3." Thankfully, fans have the "Dead Space" remake to look forward to.