The day after the Wii spin-off Dead Space Extraction shipped, news has surfaced about the next installment in the main Dead Space series. A job listing posted by Visceral Games, Electronic Arts' recently rebranded Redwood Shores studio, reveals that development on a follow-up to the acclaimed 2008 original will begin shortly.
Posted by EA senior recruiter Jeff Ballard, the job listing is for a "Lead Combat & Controls Designer at Visceral Games." The internal studio is "Seeking a highly motivated lead combat designer for the Dead Space franchise on Xbox 360 and PS3." No mention is made of a sequel to the PC version of Dead Space, which has sold a disappointing 36,000 units domestically to date, according to the NPD Group.
Later on, the listing describes the project in more detail, all but confirming it as Dead Space 2 and not a spin-off or side project. "This M-rated action/shooter sequel will set new standards for an action-packed story-driven console experience," reads the listing. (Emphasis added.) It then goes on to detail how far along the project is, saying "The game is in the later stages of preproduction, ready for production in the next few months, with many of the navigational and combat mechanics in place." (Emphasis added.)
The listing also declared that the "same core team" that crafted the critically lauded Dead Space will be working on the sequel. The mention should reassure fans of the series, given recent high-profile departures at Visceral. In July, the studio's COO Michael Condrey and general manager Glen Schofield, an early champion of Dead Space, abruptly left to head up Activision's new San Francisco Bay Area studio. The San Mateo-based shop, which may be called Sledgehammer Games, is working on an established property for the Guitar Hero and Call of Duty publisher.