Resident Evil director Shinji Mikami was brought in to test the original Dead Space ahead of its 2008 release, as director Glen Schofield shared in the latest issue of Edge magazine.
"I remember showing it to Mikami," Schofield says. "EA was always having people come in from different game studios. At the end of it, he bowed. We showed him one level, and he bowed to me and he said, through an interpreter, 'You've got something special.'
And I was so proud. I was like, 'Wow, maybe we've got something great here – I don't know.' You never know. You never know when you make any game what you've really got before it comes out."
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Resident Evil essentially defined survival horror games as we know them – or, at the very least, knew them in the 1990s – so praise from the series' original director is high praise indeed. And as Schofield said, his original pitch for the game was "I want to make Resident Evil in space", so it's easy to imagine how encouraging Mikami's response must have been.
Elsewhere in his Collected Works profile, Schofield shared how hard he had to push to ship Dead Space – as a new IP in a relatively niche genre, it wasn't really in EA's wheelhouse. By leveraging his position at the studio, he was able to put together a small team and buy enough time to put a promising demo together, and later in production, newly appointed EA CEO John Riccitiello became "a big advocate for the game."
"I think they still wondered how they were going to sell it because they were used to licensed games, but they gave us some money and we were able to finally get the game off the ground," Schofield says.
This insight comes on the heels of the newly announced Dead Space remake, which pays homage to Schofield through a cheeky reference in its reveal trailer, and has incorporated feedback from some of the original developers. Schofield himself, meanwhile, is working on spiritual Dead Space successor The Callisto Protocol at a new studio under PUBG Corp.