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EA could experiment again with future Dead Space, says producer

Visceral wants to keep its survival horror franchise fresh - but only if player feedback dictates

California studio Visceral Games could seek more ways to reinvent Dead Space following what is claimed to be highly positive feedback from the latest game's co-op mode.

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Dead Space 3 associate producer Yara Khoury told CVG that future innovations within the franchise will ultimately be beholden to player feedback.

"I think the first step is to see if people like it," Khoury said when asked if the co-op mode will feature in future Dead Space titles.

"So far the feedback has been excellent and I think it is very likely that if we build the next game we want to go with something that is just as cool - maybe something different, but something that is just as innovative and interactive," she added.

"I personally love co-op. I think it is a great way to engage with someone and have a different experience with the game. I think this is clearly a trend that is meant to last."

However any future designs will ultimately be fuelled by the fans first, the producer said.

"We build games for our players - we don't build them for ourselves. We built weapon crafting, which came from our players telling us they wanted to make their own stuff. That's also how co-op came up; they said multiplayer's cool but they can totally see co-op in Dead Space. That's how we started talking about it.

"Player feedback is huge in how we construct our games."

"I was sceptical about co-op"

Co-op has become one of the more controversial additions to EA's action horror series, and Khoury said she understands the initial reactions.

"I was one of the most sceptical initially about the co-op, I thought it was going to be so difficult to make and I couldn't really see how it would fit in our universe," she admitted.

"We tried a lot of different things and what I learned is that you have to take on a challenge to push your limits and be creative.

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"We talked about introducing full drop in, drop out co-op, - which was a crazy thing - introducing a new character and the moments when you both see something different on screen hasn't been done before. So we were talking about a lot of innovation, not just for Dead Space but the industry as a whole.

"That's what I've learned; you have to challenge yourself to create something absolutely fantastic."

The producer hypothesised that during Dead Space 3's initial announcement, a lot of fans didn't really understand how Visceral was planning to approach the co-op feature.

"When people are attached to a franchise, they're scared of change," she said. "It's difficult to explain every single thing, so people didn't understand that we weren't going to have an AI following you. A lot of games do that and it totally ruins the horror mood, so we didn't want to do that.

"It's been very difficult building a game that can accommodate both the co-op and single-player experience because it meant that we had to think through and build everything twice; the combat, the story... everything had to make sense in both modes.

"So it was a lot of work on our end. It was very challenging and complex."

EA has confirmed a Dead Space 3 release date of February 5, 2013 in North America and February 8, 2013 in Europe.

A Dead Space 3 demo is set to go live from Tuesday on Xbox Live and PSN.

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