EA on Dead Space 2: “Single-player comes first,” “not at liberty to discuss” beta

Along with testing out Dead Space 2 multiplayer gameplay last week, we had a chance to get a few questions in with Steve Papoutsis, executive producer of Dead Space 2, and Niall Hayes, senior director of development at EA.

It’s no secret that some die-hard fans of the original version were a bit concerned about single-player resources and focus taking a back seat to multiplayer development. Hayes offered some word of comfort, telling us: “Single player comes first. Dead Space 2 is still focused on being a single player game. Dead Space 2 multiplayer adds another layer and general longevity to the product.”

As to why Visceral chose to go down the multiplayer road now, Papoutsis cited two core factors. “There was a large percentage of fans that said it’d be really cool if there was multiplayer, and the team at Visceral wanted to develop a way for gamers to bring their friends into the mix.”

Both Hayes and Papoutsis agreed that some of the biggest development challenges were “leveling the playing field” and “making controls more balanced” between humans and Necromorphs.

In the end, Papoutsis summed up the core development mission: “to make the best possible game that’s unique to the Dead Space universe.”

Timing for a possible beta wasn’t revealed as Hayes stated that they’re “not at liberty to discuss just yet.” So, we’ll just have to wait on a confirmation. One thing is confirmed: all Necromorph hell breaks loose in January, 2011.