Cineverse Podcast Network Announces New Scripted Audio Series ‘Dead Space: Deep Cover’ in Collaboration With Electronic Arts

Cineverse June 15 announced that its multiplatform horror brand, Bloody Disgusting, will produce a new scripted podcast series titled “Dead Space: Deep Cover” in cooperation with video game publisher Electronic Arts.

Based on the “Dead Space” video game series, the podcast’s storyline is set in the universe of the survival horror franchise known for its intense gameplay and atmospheric storytelling. The games and this year’s remake garnered critical acclaim for their immersive mechanics, and innovative features like strategic dismemberment, and dark, suspenseful narrative.

In Dead Space: Deep Cover, a journalist searches for her sister, who reportedly joined a local Unitologist church. As she delves into the mysterious world of this church, she uncovers internal conflicts, strange customs and the personal sacrifices she must make to reunite with her sister.

The podcast will be written by Ben Counter, a sci-fi writer known for his work in the “Warhammer 40,000” franchise. Counter has written more than a dozen novels, his own original podcast “Out of Place,” and has worked on Cineverse podcasts, including “SCP Archives” and “Mayfair Watchers Society.”

Tom Owen, managing director of Bloody Disgusting/Cinedigm, said podcasts have experienced an “explosive surge” in recent years, which he said has opened up opportunities for untold stories waiting to be crafted into a scripted audio series.

“Collaborating with a company like EA has brought us access to an incredible IP, and we are thrilled to bring this podcast to fans of both horror and gaming,” Owen said in a statement.

Bloody FM has a growing lineup of audio shows that are part of the Cineverse Podcast Network. With more than four million monthly downloads, the network’s 25 horror podcasts, both fiction and non-fiction, cover everything from the sinister anthology Scare You To Sleep to the Stephen King-inspired The Losers’ Club to SCP Archives Presents, which dives deep into the darkness of the internet’s most amazing stories.

The company’s most popular podcast Creepy, receives more than a million monthly downloads alone and gives voice to urban legends and horror stories primarily posted online. The Bloody Disgusting Original Podcast “Mayfair Watchers Society” has been named one of the most popular podcasts of 2022 by Apple and finished the year as a top 50 show and the top 1% most followed podcast on Spotify in 2022.

Video Game Industry Eyes Direct-to-Consumer Rewards — and Risks

Taking a cue from the subscription streaming video-on-demand ecosystem, the video game industry has quietly begun offering content to consumers online rather than solely through packaged-media retailers such as GameStop, Best Buy and Target.

Last May game publisher Electronic Arts acquired the cloud gaming technology assets and personnel of a wholly owned subsidiary of GameFly — the online packaged-media rental service that also offers movies and TV shows.

Specifically, EA aims to distribute its games to consumers online without paying license fees to third-party game platforms such as Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo. At last year’s at annual E3 gaming confab, EA bowed a prototype subscription online gaming platforms EA Access and Origin Access.

“Cloud gaming is an exciting frontier that will help us to give even more players the ability to experience games on any device from anywhere,” Ken Moss, chief technology officer at Electronic Arts, said at the time.

Sony, whose five-year-old subscription gaming service – PlayStation Now – features hundreds of catalog games for $99 annual fee, is reportedly considering direct-to-access for new releases following its purchases of online platforms Gaikai and OnLive.

“The greatest disruption of entertainment is the combination of streaming and subscription,” Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, told Fortune. “More people are engaging, with less friction, through cloud-driven services.”

At the same time, offering consumers online access to hundreds of games for annual or monthly fees (the latter without contract) threatens an established retail market where game publishers often charge and get more than $50 for a single game.

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“I do believe that some subscribers might cancel after finishing the newest game they wanted to play, but the vast majority will keep their subscription because of the online multiplayer component of those same games,” said Greg Potter, an analyst with Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Publishers are okay with this model because hit games often have multiple revenue streams other than the purchase at the point-of-sale.”

Indeed, the gaming industry saw revenue reach record $43.8 billion in 2018, up 18% from 2017. That figure dwarfed the global box and SVOD markets.

The latter has Netflix CEO Reed Hastings worried.

In the SVOD pioneer’s recent shareholder letter, Hastings said Netflix controlled about 10% of domestic TV screen time – a tally he said is under threat more from online gaming than other SVOD competitors.

“We compete with and lose to [online gaming service] ​Fortnite ​more than HBO Now,” Hastings wrote. “When YouTube went down globally for a few minutes in October, our viewing and signups spiked for that time. Hulu is small compared to YouTube for viewing time. Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon [Prime Video] or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members.”