When EA announced that Visceral Games were the developer for Battlefield Hardline, many gamers found themselves scratching their collective heads. Visceral is best known for Dead Space - arguably the strongest triple A horror franchise from the previous gen.
Dead Space 3 had critics divided (and some fans disappointed) as a result of the switch to Gears of War-like cover mechanics, human enemies and co-operative play - all before mentioning the chilling effect the game's obtain-weapons-faster micro-transactions had.
The series failed to meet EA's financial expectations and thus suffered a whirlwind of rumours of its cancellation (although accusations Dead Space fell a-foul of the axe were firmly denied by publisher EA).
With Battlefield Hardline in the can ready for release on March 17th, many are wondering what's next for Visceral Games?
Besides rumours of a Star Wars game, Visceral GM Steve Papoutsis confirmed to UK publication Games TM that the developer hasn't finished with the popular horror franchise:
"Many, many people here at Visceral have a warm spot in their heart for Dead Space, and right now we're busy with Hardline and…other things, but it's definitely something we'd love to look at again."
Dead Space continues to enjoy almost a cult-like status among horror fans. The franchise may not have the brand power of Resident Evil, but it flew in the face of prevailing opinions that triple A horror simply couldn't work due to its niche appeal.
In a world where publishers are increasingly trying to maximise audiences, it's been refreshing to see games like The Evil Within and the recent re-release of the Resident Evil re-make achieve widespread acclaim - arguably on the back of a slew of popular indie horror titles like Outlast and Amnesia.
Considering the positive reception Dead Space enjoyed for its graphical chops, cutting-edge effects and swarms of delightfully rendered necromorphs - one has to wonder what Visceral could potentially do utilizing the new gen tech. Although, at least for now, we could be waiting a while before we step into Isaac's space boots again.