Prior to May 4, 2009, Visceral Games was known as EA Redwood Shores. Visceral Games shared a location with EA's corporate headquarters in Redwood Shores, CA. Visceral also keeps a branch office in Montreal, Canada; a former branch in Melbourne, Australia, was closed in September, 2011.
Dead Space was the most recent and name-making game franchise produced by Visceral games. Dead Space was pitched by the lead designer of Visceral Games to EA executives after getting tired of working on teen- or lower-rated titles. EA granted a small development team within Visceral Games a six month period in which to flesh out their design to demonstrate its potential as a full-scale production. Rather than going the traditional route of producing an in-depth design document for their game; Visceral created a vertical slice prototype of their game, which they decided to call Dead Space. The motivation behind this approach was that the team felt that tangible hands-on experience with a piece of their game would sell the game far better than would trying to merely describe it.
The first Dead Space was released in 2008 and met with very positive reception both critically and commercially. As of August 3, 2010, EA reported that the game had sold upwards of 2 million copies. The game was acclaimed as a successful blend of survival horror and third-person shooting, a pairing spearheaded by Resident Evil 4, with modernizations for the current console generation. The game also introduced 'strategic dismemberment' as a central gameplay mechanic. Dead Space 2 launched in 2011 and has received a similarly positive reception. Critics have praised the game as a successful, archetypical sequel: more of what was good in the last game, less of what wasn't.