BioWare and Mythic Merge, Mark Jacobs Leaves

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Mythic and BioWare have two huge things in common. They don't get huge numbers of players at the same time for a lot of their games even after they have been several years old. Match that with EA's inability to create a true lasting product but being able to snag huge simultaneous numbers and they might be able to produce a MMORPG with the combined experience that might actually challenge WoW.

If it gets pulled off I however don't believe it will reach the subscription numbers of WoW still. (side note:1) The main disadvantage of the MMORPG market is it is really hard to convince people to leave their games where they have done the leveling etc to join a new game and have to start it all over again. The people who truly enjoy starting over at 1 over and over again are truly a small percentage. So there is a ton of work required to convince people to drop their WoW characters and play a new MMORPG for more than a few months of "new game syndrome".

(side note:1) = Kind of like King of the hill, you have to give the king a really good reason to get of the hill and move to a new hill.

PedroSteckecilo:
As much as it pains me to admit it...

Studios WANT the single player game to die, it makes their lives a whole lot easier.

Less AI to program, less reason to hire writers to work on a story, less need to include meaningful gameplay in the case of MMO's (replacing it all with frustrating grind) and of course, subscription/micro transaction based games which require you to spend money constantly to keep playing.

It's a big corporations dream, cut costs and increase profit.

Admissions should come from people who have something to admit, what you are doing is speculating. It's another manimal all together.

MMOs are not cheap to make, they are not cheap to maintain. Take a mid-sized MMO like Age of Conan. It cost about 25-30 million USD to develop, and while Funcom have never given any official numbers (afaik) to how much it costs to maintain the servers and release updates at regular intervals, it's a fair assessment that they have over 60 fulltime staffers assigned to the game at any given time, developing it or maintaining it in some way. That's a rather big cost, and when the game doesn't hit its subscription goal it's not profitable at all.

Compare that to a 10 million USD triple A singleplayer title with a multiplayer component, like Gears of War 1. There's patching, sure, but not to the extent that there is with a MMOG. The cost is smaller, the profit potential is larger.

MMOGs are only the faceless corporate game-company's wet dream when it's a massive, earthshattering hit like WoW was. If not they can bleed you dry and take away paid manpower from new projects which could make you more mad cash. MMOGs might be the flavour of the month, but they won't kill off the singleplayer any more than the online FPS did.

I'm expecting WAR to be shut down to avoid competing with TOR. EA has a habit of doing that with underperforming MMOs. No i don't need another WAR fanboi yelling that bioware is the one being shut down because it was YOUR CEO who got fired, no bioware's. And they are outselling you 10:1.

Does anybody remember what happened when they consolidated their RTS divisions EA LA and Westwood? For the console plebs and other people living under a rock/too young to remember: It was a disaster.

Mark is a casual twit who thinks his games are better then they are. Dark Age of Camelot was successfully by the same reasons Twitter/Facebook/Google are all successfully. You give a bunch of people the tools and they build your game for you. Mark never had a fucking clue what he was doing and was just throwing darts at the development bored for 6 years to see what worked and what didn't.

In fact he even posted on the VN warhammer boards back in the day that he never really plays healer classes as they simply "weren't his thing". Fucking great, the guy behind the table point the fingers and dealing with balance issues can't even fucking play his own game and trust me when I say this but I don't need to see him play to know he sucks at it. When you SUCK at Video Games you are the last fucking person on the planet who should be in charge of balance. Period.

Mark Jacobs is the the fucking trophy in shitty developers. Dark Age of Camelot was a great game but not because of anything he did and only because of the community. A community he neglected for years as he just "did his own thing". The game turned into a heavy PvP ordinated game and what does he do? Makes a fucking PvE expansion and releases it without fucking testing the damn thing. I hope he gets out of the game design business now. Seriously. I really just fucking wish I could get a fucking list of what Mark Jacobs designs. I remember him talking a lot of shit about how the Warhammer Crafting system was "innovative" and what you got instead was a grind worst then WoW but better then Dark Age of Camelot and trust me thats not saying shit. I remember talking about the Public Quest and how he invented it but sorry... I think I have seen this shit before in fucking World of Warcraft AQ opening event. Was it repeatable every 5 minutes? No but thats what made it fucking exciting. Nobody wants to go fucking grind the same Public Quest over and over for gear in a PvP game you dip shit. Oh no not enough people for the PQ? Oh then you can't do it. Or how about when he got all hot and bothered that Warcraft was creating an Achievement system? Oh because you created your tome of knowledge? Yeah sorry but they didn't fucking steal that idea from as more so then you ripped off the fucking Xbox design. Worst of all you completly missed the point of achievements. Your Achievements have no point system and are pointless. DIE TO FALL DAMAGE 50,000 TIMES AND GET AN ACHIEVEMENT? EXCUSE ME? At least Warcrafts Achievement system just became something for people to do. Oh man I kill some doods I get some virtual points neat. The Warhammer system is like fucking I DISCOVERED A LAKE AND I GET a 4 PAGE NOVEL THAT ISN'T SPELL CHECKED AND IS COMPLETELY BLAND.

Mark Jacobs has as much idea as a fucking box of Lucky Charms. You fucking put your hand into the box, pull out some symbols and just start talking. UHH POT...CLOUD....RAINBOW... OKAY A CRAFTING SYSTEM WHERE YOU RUN AROUND AND TRY AND CATCH WEATHER IN IT! OMFG IM A VIDEO GAME DEVELOPER. SOMEONE HAND ME A BOX OF ALPHABETS. Seriously. No fucking talent just a puff of smoke. Don't even get me started on his little buddy Paul "Talks to much shit" Barrett or whatever the fuck his name is. I still fucking remember the day he said THERE WON'T BE HEALERS IN WARHAMMER and here I'm sitting thinking? Oh Really? What about all of us who like to heal? Wait no how exactly are you going to create a balanced game without healers? Oh wait. You couldn't because one that was a stupid fucking idea in the first god damn place and two you have about as much innovation as a fucking monkey.

If for some reason your ever googling your name and you read this Mark. Heres a mother fucking pro tip. Next time you create a game. Go play some others. Don't level to 12 in World of Warcraft and think you played the game. Fucking 'Beat' it and then go "Man I learned so much from the most successfully mmo, now I will have a fraction of a chance at creating a successful game this time" because honestly I'm not sure who even plays Warhammer? The game doesn't cater to casuals or hardcore players. Casual players don't like dealing with your buggy shitty interface/spells/dungeons/pvp and you don't give anything for Hardcore players to do. Mindlessly kill people even though your imbalanced system doesn't let them take Cities, hey haven't played in awhile maybe you fixed that but I have no doubt in my mind that I bet it sucks and lags to all fucking shit. Casual shitty gamers like yourself Mark should not be in the game designing business and I know you will make something else in the future and I know it will suck and I will smile in delight as I watch you never learn anything ever.
I'm going to go fucking shoot bitches in some video games because I hate this man and what he does to MMORPGS. The genre will be fine without it but I know that fucking shit is gonna announcer fucking DAOC2 or some crap. I just fucking know it.

This is terrible news. Mythic is a mediocre developer at best and they dropped the ball on Warhammer:Age of Reckoning. Also, their only other (finished) project was Dark Age of Camelot, so they have a grand total of two games under their belt (Imperator doesn't count since they didn't finish it). On the other hand, Bioware is a tried and true RPG developer with a consistent track record for making good games.

This can mean a few things. First, EA is going to bully Bioware into focusing on MMOs which would be tragic to say the least. I'm optimistic about SW:TOR, but I'm even more enthusiastic about Bioware's single player games. It would be a crying shame to see one of the last vestiges of western RPGs go down the drain and leave the genre.

Second, Bioware will get the "benefit" of Mythic's experience and I don't see that as a good thing. They managed to screw up WAR and then managed NOT to fix it. And they did so while using the outdated and overused staples of the genre as passed down from the days of EQ. The only reason why I'm interested in SW:TOR is because it sounded like Bioware was trying some new concepts there, but with the addition of the Mythic team I fear that this means the game might get shoehorned into a more conservative EQ/WoW ripoff.

Third, I don't see any benefit for Bioware from this for their non-MMO projects since Mythic hasn't had any experience with a non-MMO game. They're just getting a bunch of guys with dubious skills to water down their talent pool. WAR had fairly bad graphics, I didn't notice any particularly good writing and the bugs were plentiful.

Overall, if this is a full scale merger, I fear for the quality of future Bioware games. If Mythic is only being brought in to help with SW:TOR, I fear for SW:TOR and what little promise that game had. A dickmove by EA, to say the least.

You know, I was appreciating the fact that EA was generally leaving BioWare alone. Now they go and do this.

As long as I get Jade Empire 2. Or KoToR 3. And NO, SW:TOR is not KoToR 3.

I am not really a big fan of this. However, I wasn't excited when I heard Bioware was bought by EA either. But until a game is realeased by Bioware w/ their new partners (EA and Mythic) I'd perfer not to judge EA to harshly. But the merger (Bioware and Mythic) could have been worse. At least Ray Muzyka is in charge.

The typical response to what is the insane thread on our forums (15k views, 20+ pages and still going) seems to reflect the normal bias of forum-goers - optimists will see optimism and pessimists will see pessimism. And then there are the people like Schmoopy here who I think take games just a little too seriously. Dislike Mark all you want, criticize him for poor communication tendencies, I'm with you there. But the kind of vitriolic hatred people have over what amounts to pixels and a game boggles me sometimes. Games are supposed to be a hobby, and people, real people with families and loved ones pulling a paycheck make them. People need to relax on the haterade.

It seems terribly obvious, but the reality is going to be neither optimistic nor pessimistic. Optimists need to learn that something like this doesn't happen without a reason, that given the facts that we know, WAR severely underdelivered on its intended subscriber numbers. The fact that Mark Jacobs was sacked, and that this re-org has happened, means EA sees WAR is having difficulty retaining subscriptions. At the same time, pessimists need to learn that predicting death for MMOs is passe and rarely happens, with only Tabula Rasa, Hellgate London dying soon after launch. The Matrix Online and Shadowbane, both arguably games that should have been on the chopping block long ago, have just ended their runs after years of operation. Though EA published losses the last couple quarters (which studio not named Blizzard didn't) significant revenue comes from MMOs and they know it. By creating a main group that can be managed centrally with different talent pools, there's more benefit than detraction.

No one can accurately predict what will happen, and I'm one who likes to look at empirical evidence on something before making judgments. We'll see.

Baron Khaine:
Great, so now we get Paul Barnett hyping TOR?

That would be awesome, haha.

Anyway, this won't change much at all, I believe. As for WAR, I digg it, but I got bored very quickly and Keep fights was a mess. Not sure how it is now though.

oliveira8:
They would need to buy Activision for Blizzard...and thats impossible considering Activision is worth more than EA.

They could still finance it. =p

I'm hopeful. Warhammer Online had a lot of potential and in a lot of ways I liked it better than WoW, but got bogged down, and made some critical errors of judgment (i.e. no general chat on launch). The economy was terrible. Tier 4 needs an infusion of fresh ideas.

I was going to resub for Land of the Dead, but mostly it seems it STILL has a lot of the design flaws from launch. I don't know if this is MJ's fault, but I do hope for an infusion of new blood and new ideas into the game. I don't think it would take much to turn things around and make it more popular. The backbone of a good MMO is in place.

dodo1331:
As long as I get... KoToR 3. And NO, SW:TOR is not KoToR 3.

You'll be disappointed then. BioWare has repeatedly said that a new KotOR is not in the works.

Still, many reviewers from E3 said that SW:TOR has the feel of a single player game. The formula that make KotOR so great is still there (story, companion characters, etc.) but with an upgrade a-la Mass Effect. Personally I say wait to form your opinion on it. It may surprise you.

nothing can go head to head with WoW. its just too awesome. i played WAR and found it pretty good, but i stopped playing at lvl 28 because of the huge amount of glitches. one second, my Sorcerer was walking normally, the next, hes walking 3 foot into the ground. or was invisible.

oliveira8:

Slycne:
In other news, EA plans to acquire Blizzard and Bethesda to further their goal of forming RPG Voltron.

They would need to buy Activision for Blizzard...and thats impossible considering Activision is worth more than EA.

Unless EA managed to bargain with Activision using the souls of little children...

headshotcatcher:
Rob Denton must be one of the coolest names ever...

Anyway I hope this will shed new light into games of both studios (especially Warhammer Online).

Cooler than J.C. Denton?

JimmieDean:
All us single player rpg fans are just keeping our fingers crossed that this doesn't mean bioware will be an mmo company now.

Bioware RPG's have always been a license to print money.

EA will not throw that away.

+ i doubt EA does have that big an influence over what Bioware does and does not.

Its like the blizzard/vivendi/activision thing.

The hen that lays golden eggs is best left alone to lay golden eggs. you don't mess with it.

Bioware has farmed out a lot of its RPGs recently to Obsidian, so it's hardly the death-knell of Western RPGs if they do go MMOs. Bioware's talent in RPGs has always been.. dodgy. NWN1 sucked.. Its Obsidian where the real talent is.

Susurrus:
Bioware has farmed out a lot of its RPGs recently to Obsidian, so it's hardly the death-knell of Western RPGs if they do go MMOs. Bioware's talent in RPGs has always been.. dodgy. NWN1 sucked.. Its Obsidian where the real talent is.

Kotor 2 sucked too, and it came from obsidian....

Anyway: Bioware will continue to do RPG's. Because they will sell.

ChromeAlchemist:

headshotcatcher:
Rob Denton must be one of the coolest names ever...

Anyway I hope this will shed new light into games of both studios (especially Warhammer Online).

Cooler than J.C. Denton?

Thats what I was aiming at mind you :P

headshotcatcher:

ChromeAlchemist:

headshotcatcher:
Rob Denton must be one of the coolest names ever...

Anyway I hope this will shed new light into games of both studios (especially Warhammer Online).

Cooler than J.C. Denton?

Thats what I was aiming at mind you :P

Damn well better have been!

Me and my friend think the coolest name ever is a toss up between [name] Denton and Ethan Hawke. I still pick Denton.

ChromeAlchemist:

headshotcatcher:

ChromeAlchemist:

headshotcatcher:
Rob Denton must be one of the coolest names ever...

Anyway I hope this will shed new light into games of both studios (especially Warhammer Online).

Cooler than J.C. Denton?

Thats what I was aiming at mind you :P

Damn well better have been!

Me and my friend think the coolest name ever is a toss up between [name] Denton and Ethan Hawke. I still pick Denton.

You'd better.. :P

Undead Dragon King:

dodo1331:
As long as I get... KoToR 3. And NO, SW:TOR is not KoToR 3.

You'll be disappointed then. BioWare has repeatedly said that a new KotOR is not in the works.

Still, many reviewers from E3 said that SW:TOR has the feel of a single player game. The formula that make KotOR so great is still there (story, companion characters, etc.) but with an upgrade a-la Mass Effect. Personally I say wait to form your opinion on it. It may surprise you.

Well, that sucks. Didn't know that.

I was going to try it out anyway, I just want a REAL singleplayer game. Oh well, I'll just wait.

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