The gist: it's early days, but they're looking to be faithful to the original game - and no, it won't have microtransactions.
While aiming to be faithful, Dead Space is a ground-up remake designed with modern technology in mind. Creative director Roman Campos-Oriola told IGN that this meant they could fulfill the designer's original intent. "We started with the original level design of the original Dead Space," says Campos-Oriola. "What's funny is that you can see some of the iterations that were made prior to ship by the team. In the first chapter, you can see some corridors that they wanted to do first in a certain way, and then you can understand why they changed it for technical constraints or [some other reason]." EA Motive don't have those same technical constraints.
The confirmation that Dead Space won't have microtransactions might seem odd. Why would it, when it's a singleplayer game? But microtransactions were controversially included in Dead Space 3, and EA have had a fraught relationship with singleplayer games over the past decade. Original Dead Space developers Visceral Games were shut down in 2017, and the singleplayer-only Star Wars game they were making with Uncharted director Amy Hennig at the helm was cancelled shortly thereafter. The feeling within EA seemed to be that singleplayer games were a waste of time when FIFA Ultimate Team, loot boxes and live services could print money.
EA Motive's previous game, Star Wars Squadrons, bucked that trend by not having microtransactions and offering a relatively tight package, though even it had multiplayer modes.
The Dead Space remake suggests EA see more of a space for singleplayer games among their roster. “We want to make games that deliver the experiences our players are looking for," EA Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele told iGN. "Sometimes that is a single-player story-focused experience, where players can immerse themselves in another world. Focusing on just one genre or model limits the number of players we can reach.”
That can only be a good thing in my eyes. I'm not wild about the trend for remakes - you should just go play the original Dead Space, it's still great and less than £5 - but I will take any trend that creates more big budget singleplayer games.