GDC 2013: Dead Space 3 Co-Op Was Added "in the Middle of Production," Says Visceral Producer

Lee Bradley

Dead Space 3's co-op was only added half-way through development, a Visceral producer has revealed.

Speaking at GDC alongside game writer Susan O'Connor, Dead Space 3 producer Chuck Beaver let slip that the game's co-operative element was a relatively late addition during production.

In the session, which focused on creating emotionally engaging game stories in challenging situations, O'Connor shared a story about how she once wrote a co-op game's story and submitted the script, only to be told that the project was now single-player.

Beaver responded by saying, “Oh really? I had to go from single-player to co-op, in the middle of production. How about that?”

Dead Space 3's development has been under the spotlight recently, after stories began to circulate saying that EA insisted that the game included microtransactions and shifted away from its horror roots.

For its part EA has strenuously denied those stories, but if Beaver is correct and co-op was added late into production, then development was clearly far from plain sailing.

It also begs the question, if Visceral conceived Dead Space 3 as a single-player game, who was behind the decision to make it co-op?

  • P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }A:link { } is that the classic EA code
  • What do you expect? EA has done nothing but lie to their consumers for as long as I can remember. Maybe the Co-op is good in DS3, but at the same time, it's not Dead Space.
  • If it wasn't Visceral's idea to add co-op, then perhaps it was EA? After this slip, I wonder if more will be revealed. Maybe Dead Space 3 was altered more than Visceral intended..
  • "It also begs the question, if Visceral conceived Dead Space 3 as a single-player game, who was behind the decision to make it co-op?" No, I'm pretty sure we ALL know the answer to that.
  • Ironically, the Coop is arguably the best part of the game. It pretty much falls flat as a survival-horror game.
  • I love how they push these features when they want us to buy their games and then when it releases and receives a lackluster response they follow up with excuses for why it sucks.
  • I love all the haters. This was the best of the series. If you don't like in depth story and character development (or reading, yes folks you have to read the text logs just like the other two games) then this isn't the game for you. Carvers storyline was great and epically sad. DLC was a little short for 800 pts but was a nice addition. If there was anything to complain about this game it should be the DLC.
  • Either way, I love this game.
  • Chuck Beaver is an awesome name.
  • Single Player: 4/5 Awakening: 4/5 Both Were Great DLC was short but amazing.
  • O course, EA did say that single player was dead and all EA games would have multiplayer
  • Dead Space was always going to have Co-oP but it got scraped at the last minute for DS1 also leading to Issac being a silent protagonist. I remember reading on this site about the devs saying they cut Issac's dialogue because most of it was banter with player 2 character.
  • Ah, whatever. Dead Space was born from a terrible mistake in the first place, and that was EA not holding onto the System Shock trademark. I knew that DS would eventually get into the shit itself. Co-op? Really?
  • It wouldn't surprise me if Dead Space 4 (if it ever exists) will be co-op only and no SP.
  • And the game was still fantastic, I loved the co-op. At least Visceral did it right, they made it OPTIONAL. I got to enjoy it with a bro and still have the atmosphere all to myself. Look at Resident Evil. You're forced to have a co-op partner, or you get a terrible AI.
  • Got to say i loved the co-op it was fun. I respect anyone who didn't like it but i thought it was great. You could play alone and then do it with another person. The story may have had its slip ups now and then but still a great game.
  • I also enjoyed the coop and sharing my experience with my buds. Plus I got to see two sides of the story.
  • "Chuck Beaver opens up" Best by-line ever.
  • The fact is EA has stated for a long time that they want online play in their games in some form, and since they probably didn't want to try the multiplayer gimmick again, Visceral went with coop even though they hadn't planned on it. Honestly though I doubt adding coop changed much, since coop only really effects how immersed we get being alone in a game as opposed to having someone right next to us, even if it's just in our ear. It's the same as playing a horror game while in party chat. You can't be as scared, because you're not truly alone.
  • Personally i enjoyed ds3 just as much as the first two,didn't get a chance to play the coop when i briefly tried it,maybe the coop being added put people off resulting in poor sales according to EA,no one really knows until they actually play it,never the less,i loved it
  • @ #9 Chuck Beaver is NOT an awesome name. It conjures images of a woman whos personal hygiene is so bad it makes would be muff divers barf.
  • This is why EA are the worst publisher, forcing there developers to add co-op/multiplayer to a game they would prefer to be single player. The developer should be given free will to create the game how they want it, that's why they are the developer not EA.
  • @ 7 I agree with you. Iv had all the dead space games each game has had a slight difference each time which has made em enjoyable. Iv even got the arcade puzzle which was the build up to dead space 2. No matter what game it is someone gotta give negative feedback about it.
  • there are many things wrong about Dead Space 3 for sure, but the co-op isn't one of them.
  • Gotta love the mindless haters. This game was fantastic. Late inclusion of co-op or not. And as others have said. The co-op itself was a blast. Carver is a much more believable, tradgic anti-hero than Isaac. Isaac was just a fucking emo crybaby this time around.
  • I love how EA and Microsoft get so much hate on this site from people that clearly buy their products. If you dislike them so much stop giving them your money. They have helped to make games as successful as they are so get over it already.
  • I've played every Dead Space, and I absolutely loved this one. The co-op was a lot of fun. I'm all about co-op experiences. So the game wasn't as much horror as the previous 2, I still think that the story was deep. And we know that they can pull off a horror co-op, as the DLC showed. I'll be disappointed if we don't get to see the next chapter that the DLC lead us to, and equally disappointed if it isn't co-op.
  • I have this but still have not yet tried it, but this news is troubling. Co-op doesn't fit into every game and it's kind of alarming to think the choice is out of the hands of the developer on such a big feature.
  • P.S. x360a - I'd hardly call him making one relatively vague comment "opening up". Maybe if he'd followed his comment up with some clarification, yeah. But as it stands, this entire article is really just speculation based on that one vague comment. Hell, even if EA DID insist on co-op, it was the right choice. Let's all not forget that it was Visceral's decision to include that shitty excuse for competitive multiplayer in Dead Space 2. So I'd personally give EA props for insisting on a much smarter direction for online multiplayer.
  • And @2 Maybe you should actually play the fucking game before you just go ahead and dismiss it as being "not dead space". If there's one thing I can't stand, it's idiots that talk this kind of shit without having ever even played the game. As far as EA "lying to their customers" for as long as you can remember? Let's hear some specific examples. No, really. Because that's a load of shit.
  • Thought it was pretty clearly intended to be a single player title. Isaac and Carver are always in the same room together (or adjacent ones), giving you double the firepower but only +25-50% more enemies. They only really get the chance to 'split up' (and that's optional) when you need to find the parts to make something; The Remote in chapter 6 The Flight Navigator in Chapter 7 The Probe Gun in Chapter 11 Carver took a back seat in most of the cinematics and still does even when you're playing as him as they're heavily focused on Isaac. Even Danik only addresses Isaac when you're in the Temple in the game's later stages. Plus you'll notice a lot of small 'interval' rooms where nothing happens. Especially on Tau Volantis optional missions or Chapter 14, which are just there for the next 'big' room to load up and prevent the need for the game to have to massive rooms going on at the same time.
  • That said, every article about this game has a tone that suggests it was a disaster or something. The co-op didn't hurt the game, there's a whole bunch of other issues that do that. I went into this in detail: 12, 13, 22 and 26 are the big ones everything else was merely an annoyance in comparison. It's still very good, it's just the least good of the trilogy.
  • Chuck Beaver, LoL
  • yeah! More half truths and incomplete stories to make me wonder why one of my most favorite games is being juggled around by circus animals instead of being treated like the delicate, fragile piece of glass that it is. I sincerely hope that Dead Space sticks around and still kick ass many games from now.
  • Weakest entry in the trilogy so far. Co-op wasn't bad, by any means, but the claims that you didn't ever have to touch it to get the full experience were way off-base. Shouldn't have achievements for a mode claimed to be non-essential for those that didn't want to play it. I would rather see the MP from DS2 come back. Loved that multiplayer.
  • As usual, the SUKI at EA takes a great developer or IP and beats it to death. E.G. Westwood studios and Dead Space.
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