Horror games are a hard sell, says ex-Dead Space dev


Former Visceral Games developer Zach Wilson has revealed that horror games are a far harder sell than any other triple-A video game genre.

Wilson noted that horror games are a double-edged sword; gamers consider themselves fans of the genre, but avoid actually buying them as they’re too scary. 

Survival horror is hard. Horror games in general are expensive to make and hard to sell. People would give us the feedback that they love Dead Space but don’t buy it cause it’s too scary. Kind of works against itself.

This of course is in direct contrast to the film industry, where low budget horror flicks can be released with great success a the box office. 

One of the biggest single-player horror titles to launch recently is Resident Evil 7: biohazard from Capcom. The game received high praise from critics, and has shipped four million copies worldwide to date.

Despite this, the game fell below Capcom’s initial sales expectations. The company had hoped to move four million by March 31, 2017, so the game is currently tracking lower than anticipated. 

Wilson had previously commented that Dead Space 2 had failed to prove a commercial success, despite selling a few million copies. 

Visceral Games was shuttered earlier this month by publisher Electronic Arts, with development of the studio’s Star Wars project delayed as a result.

Not only that, but the title will be undergoing a significant revamp from its original concept as a narrative-driven single-player experience.

Dead Space released in 2008 and was responsible for reinvigorating the survival horror genre during the PS3-era. 

The game was released during a time when horror staples such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill had taken more of an action-focused approach to sequels. 

Capcom in particular has slowly returned to its roots in recent years, with the likes of Resident Evil Revelations, Resident Evil Revelations 2, and Resident Evil 7 adopting a more classic horror template.