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Dead Space's Remake Stomps The Callisto Protocol's Launch with Almost Double the Players on Steam

Turns Out The Callisto Protocol Really is the New "Dead" Space Game After All

January 30, 2023 by

With an entire decade passing since the last installment in the Dead Space series, fans were thrilled to hear that Striking Distance Studios (founded by Dead Space‘s co-founder, Glen Schofield) would be releasing the spirtual successor in 2022.

But after years of marketing hype and a budget reportedly around $160 million, The Callisto Protocol‘s highly anticipated launch in December underperformed with lower-than-expected scores from critics, mixed reviews from gamers, and a peak of only 17k players on Steam.

Now, less than two months after The Callisto Protocol‘s launch, EA and their Motive Studio (responsible for previous Star Wars games using the Frostbite engine) have revived Dead Space with a remake of the 2008 horror classic. A remake that’s been much more well received with high review scores, positive feedback from fans, and a peak of 30k players on Steam.

With such big necromorph-stomping boots to fill, the developers at Motive seem to have mastered the Frostbite engine and nailed the remake formula by perfectly blending old with new. Just like Capcom did back in 2019 with their survival horror remake of Resident Evil 2, both players and critics agree that the new Dead Space is faithful restoration and new fan-favorite.

So, what happened with The Callisto Protocol?

Everything seemed good after the first cinematic trailer revealed a new survival horror game from the same industry vets who created Dead Space… but, that hype quickly began to die out after laggy first-looks at gameplay and marketing that focused way too much on highly detailed actor scans, death animations, and plans for even more post-launch paid DLC animations.

Early reports on the game’s production also left gamers confused on what exactly to expect. Callisto was originally planned to be set in the same universe as publisher Krafton’s most popular IP, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Those plans were then revealed in an interview with Schofield just months before Callisto‘s release to have been scrapped at some point with no mention on how much that impacted the game’s development.

Along with major changes to the game’s story/universe during production, the developers were also tasked with the challenge of having to create a visually-stunning “next-gen” game that also looks and plays well on older consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Something we saw turn into a disaster two years ago with the release of Cyberpunk 2077.

Unlike Krafton, EA made the uncharacteristic decision to only release Dead Space‘s 2023 remake on PC and current-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles. A very risky decision for a triple-A publisher trying to maximize profits — but also a move that clearly paid off — allowing the developers to focus on creating a better game that they hope won’t lose 97% of its players before the DLC is even released.