Update: We can no longer confirm the veracity of this story due to an official rebuttal from EA.
According to the same Videogamer source that revealed that there won’t be a Dead Space 4, Dead Space 3’s production didn’t include the controversial approach to microtransactions, nor the universal ammo system that supported it, until later in the production.
Defenders of both inclusions have claimed that they each were used as a way to better transition from the original horror focused experience to a more action oriented one and were likely always a consideration in development. The source has suggested that this move didn’t reflect the change in gameplay approach at all, but was purely an attempt to recoup development costs. The game initially stuck to the same system included in the previous games that provided scarcity, desperation and survivalism, later this was replaced with a combat method that focused purely on power fantasy and statistical betterment available in many other titles.
Seemingly this hasn’t been an effective move, given the series’ cancellation, but worryingly EA have admitted they’re interested in maintaining their desire to include microtransactions and other ways to improve player ability through real money in all of their games. We would hope that this would serve as a lesson in that consumers have reacted negatively already, but that message might not carry over. EA have often previously misunderstood a game’s lack of successes and devised other contexts, like Peter Moore claiming that Medal of Honor: Warfighter was poorly received due to a lack of consumer interest in the realism it provides, not down to it being a generic uninteresting experience that does too little to stray from the norm.
The business of making games is difficult. The market for AAA titles is shrinking and the methods currently being used to retain them are being used ineffectively. May god have mercy on us all.