Franchise Killer: Narrowly averted. Originally, there was a statement made by EA claiming that they would kill the franchise if it didn't sell over 5 million units, which is more than the sales of the previous two games combined. Though the actual sales of the game have not pleased EA, they claim that they have redacted their statement, and will continue to work with their intellectual property.
That said, EA has come out and said the franchise is "taking a break" for now. Add to that how many layoffs they've had, and things aren't looking good. Considering how the Awakened DLC ends, Dead Space 3 being the finale would make the entire franchise into one of the most spectacular cases of Shoot the Shaggy Dog ever.
Of course, the reason that they're "taking a break" from the franchise could be because they knew that they were acquiring the rights to make Star Wars games, which, from a financial standpoint, would take a greater priority over this franchise.
Torch the Franchise and Run: It's very hard not to see the end of Awakened, in which the Brethren Moons awaken and renew their cycle of wiping out all life in the galaxy while Isaac and Carver look on hopelessly, as this, especially given the ridiculous expectations that EA had for the game as noted above.