Yesterday morning, Destructoid
reported a rumor that EA was looking to port Dead Space Extraction
to both the PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Arcade. According the the news that they reported, the information was drawn from a recent consumer survey that originated from Electronic Arts and made reference to a high-definition version of the game for $14.99 on the downloadable networks. Dead Space Extraction
appeared previously as a Wii exclusive (at the time) prequel that shifted the game from an full blown FPS to an on-rails / guided shooter.
Is this rumor really that far fetched? Let's discuss...
In my opinion, this sort of move makes perfect economic sense for any company, especially in the current economic environment. As much as I love and praise the Wii, the truth of the matter is that a majority of mainstream consumers in the industry do not view the platform as a viable source for hardcore games. I could argue that issue to the grave but this isn't the place for that... the fact of the matter is that efforts to publish mainstream style games on the platform rarely meet the financial expectations and requirements for companies. Nintendo is really the only software publisher that has managed to score successful titles on the Wii platform. Third party publishers continue to struggle to publish a bona fide hit on the Wii; there have been many titles that are moderately successful, but none that have garnished success comparable to the same offerings on the 360 or PS3 platforms.
Porting a game, in this case Dead Space Extraction, over to these other platforms would cost much less than a full development process to build a game from start to scratch. Especially when you are talking about a game that is viewed as a critical success, which Extraction was, the option of shifting the game to a potentially more successful platform for minimal costs is extremely attractive to a developer. Even though this is nothing more than a rumor at this point, an official announcement along the same lines wouldn't come as a any sort of shock, at least to me. Such a move would not only be beneficial to the company behind the decision, but to gamers alike as more gamers in the overall scheme of things would then have access to a game that originally had limited distribution options. Down with third-party console exclusive games and long live the multiplatform hits!