The original Dead Space, launched back in 2008, endeavoured to push boundaries not only for the Survival Horror videogame genre, but in the cross-pollination of entertainment media. Not satisfied with simply offering consumers a deep and involving videogame experience, the release of Dead Space was accompanied by the feature film Dead Space: Downfall and a six-part comic book series. What’s more, an interactive website, www.noknownsurvivors.com, was presented as both an extension of the franchise and an inventive marketing tool. A fairly comprehensive series of associated products you may well think, but Dead Space 2 is most certainly poised to top this.
Despite all this added support, Dead Space was reportedly met with disappointing sales. Undeterred however, Visceral Games’ second videogame release in the franchise is being delivered alongside far more transmedia content, as while the original title failed to perform as expected initially it has since found itself being deemed a cult favourite, with critical acclaim leading to many picking-up the game at a later date for a discounted price. Given the near-immaculate presentation of the original, hopes are high Dead Space 2 will be met with a much more appreciative response from consumers.
For those already deeply involved in the franchise, before the release of Dead Space 2 itself comes another feature film, Dead Space: Aftermath. A mixture of CGI and traditional animation techniques, Electronic Theatre was privileged to be witness to the UK premiere of the motion-picture production, and was suitably impressed. Brought to market by the world renowned Manga, Dead Space: Aftermath features the vocal talents of Christopher Judge (Stargate SG-1) as part of a team that goes in search of a fragment of the Marker. Upon finding said fragment, things start rapidly deteriorating around the team, and not least in the minds of those who come into contact it. Dead Space: Aftermath is an impressive non-continuity edited production that truly expands upon the deep plot of the Dead Space franchise, perfectly setting the scene for the Dead Space 2 videogame.
In addition to a new motion-picture comes a new graphic novel, Dead Space: Salvage. Written by Antony Johnston, writer of the original Dead Space comic book series, Dead Space: Salvage features the art of Christopher Shy. Presented in stunningly visceral hand-painted panels, Dead Space: Salvage tells the story of the Magpies, a group who discover an abandoned mining ship, the USG Ishimura. Their supposed luck quickly turns into a catastrophe as they realise they are in the middle of a living nightmare, with the necromorphs reanimating across the ship. Dead Space: Salvage recalls the beauty-in-horror of Ridley Scott’s earliest Alien productions, as Shy himself professed to Electronic Theatre, and as a result creates yet another compelling third leg for the Dead Space franchise. And though Dead Space: Salvage may already be available at retail, those seeking adoption of the graphic novel ahead of the forthcoming Dead Space 2 would do well to stay tuned to Electronic Theatre later this week.
The final addition to the transmedia formula is that of Dead Space: Martyr, a novel from the award-winning B.K. Evenson. The novel delves into the history of the Church of Unitology and the origin of the mysterious Marker. Dead Space: Martyr revolves around geophysicist Michael Altman as he investigates a mysterious signal and uncovers the alien artifact, expanding the backstory of the role of Church of Unitology in the Dead Space universe. Published by Titan Books, Dead Space: Martyr is an unwavering piece of horror fiction, which Electronic Theatre will bring you more details on in the very near future.
In addition to these universe expanding products comes the likes of t-shirts and action figures; associated merchandise of varying levels of intrigue. And of course, all of this added exposition for the franchise comes even before the latest videogame productions, both Dead Space 2 and the unique iOS Dead Space adventure. Both titles are set to be available in the very near future, and of course Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the latest details on these and other forthcoming transmedia Dead Space productions.