BioWare Loses Another Key Player

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BioWare Loses Another Key Player

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Daniel Erickson, the lead designer and creative director on Star Wars: The Old Republic, has left BioWare.

It's been a rough stretch for BioWare. Star Wars: The Old Republic Executive Producer Rich Vogel left in July, BioWare co-founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka quit in September and now Daniel Erickson, SWTOR's lead designer and creative director, has headed out the door.

Erickson hasn't offered any specific reasons for his departure, but posts on his new Twitter account suggest that he's not happy with where the studio was headed. "When 90% of the industry is saying the exact same thing (social, mobile, FTP!) a huge number of people are going to lose that race," he wrote. "Job hunt thought: If you think a monetization approach is the same thing as a game idea I don't know why we're talking."

In response to a Twitter user who said he was burned out on MMOs and missed games like Monkey Island, Full Throttle and Space Quest, he added, "Not funny at all. There's a reason Kickstarters for classic adventure games and classic RPGs have done so well."

It's a far cry from Erickson's gushing words about BioWare on his LinkedIn page, which hasn't been updated to reflect his departure. "Took a step down from Lead Designer role at EA to get into BioWare and learn from the best story designers," it says. It also contains a recommendation from Vogel, who wrote, "If you need someone to define a vision and build a great game and team around that vision, he is your man." Vogel is currently putting together a team to work on an unannounced project at Bethesda's new Battlecry Studios.

Source: Twitter, LinkedIn

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Is there a sinking ship and the bioware employees are likes rats?

There is no way all these departures are going to look good to the shareholders.

So that's now 2 people who have joined Bethesda right after leaving BioWare? Interesting...but at the same time, i like it. Bethesda at least attempts to make quality RPGs. I think, with Skyrim, they spent too much time crafting an excellent world, rather than fleshing out a proper RPG experience, but it's still better than how EA/BioWare turned Mass Effect into a shooting gallery. Interested to see where this all goes, or if it will make a difference at all.

captcha: caesar salad
HAIL CAESAR!

Bioware is losing people faster than the Old Republic is losing subscribers.

Fappy:
There is no way all these departures are going to look good to the shareholders.

No... NO!
You replaced the cat!
Nooooooooooo!
WHY!?

OT: Looks like ToRtanic is becoming Bioware-tanic... or something like that.

I can taste the blood in the water, and it is delicious.

Look on my comrades. This is how a God dies.

cahtush:

Fappy:
There is no way all these departures are going to look good to the shareholders.

No... NO!
You replaced the cat!
Nooooooooooo!
WHY!?

OT: Looks like ToRtanic is becoming Bioware-tanic... or something like that.

Yeah, I done changed it. Made a thread regarding it in OT as well XP

Not with a bang but a whimper.

Oh look, a Bioware piece. I can't wait for the 10,000 comments on how it's not a 'proper RPG' if you don't have to navigate through at least three different menus to get someone to move their arm...

I hope this works out well for him. Although, apart from TOR going free to play, I haven't heard Bioware in particular making any kind of huge noise about social and mobile gaming, so I don't know what's got him riled there.

Of course, Bioware starts falling apart right when I'm almost fit to apply for a position there.

jollybarracuda:
So that's now 2 people who have joined Bethesda right after leaving BioWare? Interesting...but at the same time, i like it. Bethesda at least attempts to make quality RPGs. I think, with Skyrim, they spent too much time crafting an excellent world, rather than fleshing out a proper RPG experience, but it's still better than how EA/BioWare turned Mass Effect into a shooting gallery. Interested to see where this all goes, or if it will make a difference at all.

captcha: caesar salad
HAIL CAESAR!

To be fair they left the Roleplaying in Mass Effect intact. As for the stat based mechanics, yes they have diluted to be more shooter focus.

Feels like either the old Bioware crew is finally fed up with EA's bull and they are now pulling out one after another, or EA has decided to put blame on the veterans for the company's recent failures and coerced them to quit.

Fappy:

Yeah, I done changed it. Made a thread regarding it in OT as well XP

But... but... why?
sell-out

RIP Bioware. Maybe these big name developers that are jumping ship will join the rebellion on Kickstarter.

All that these publishers like EA bring to the table is money and poison. Thanks to the net, their soulless marketing machines can't control the flow of information and exposure anymore; don't need 'em for that either. If these first and second gen big Kickstarters become a big success, we might not even need their damn money anymore. Then we can kick corporate filth like EA and the rest into the dust bin of history.

Akisa:

jollybarracuda:
So that's now 2 people who have joined Bethesda right after leaving BioWare? Interesting...but at the same time, i like it. Bethesda at least attempts to make quality RPGs. I think, with Skyrim, they spent too much time crafting an excellent world, rather than fleshing out a proper RPG experience, but it's still better than how EA/BioWare turned Mass Effect into a shooting gallery. Interested to see where this all goes, or if it will make a difference at all.

captcha: caesar salad
HAIL CAESAR!

To be fair they left the Roleplaying in Mass Effect intact. As for the stat based mechanics, yes they have diluted to be more shooter focus.

I'm pretty sure that these stat based mechanics are what he meant by "proper RPG experience", and not just "roleplaying" in general.

I mean, yeah, in a way, you "play a role" in every game where you control a character, (and then in some others, too), but to claim with that argument that Bioware didn't really abandon the RPG genre, kind of ignores how and why video game genres exist.

Quick! All hands to the lifeboats!

But in all seriousness, it doesn't look good for them. Hopefully, the fleeing survivors will manage to pull together another company, join Kickstarter, and have good job prospects as they look towards the future.

NinjaDeathSlap:

I hope this works out well for him. Although, apart from TOR going free to play, I haven't heard Bioware in particular making any kind of huge noise about social and mobile gaming, so I don't know what's got him riled there.

I think they are working on a F2P something, but it was so uninteresting I forget what. Let's face it though, their might not be anything visible in the works, but EA would have said to them about it.

OT: Seems they're bleeding chips. Hope he does alright though, always seemed like a really nice guy.

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Ahem.
I think this is appropriate.

It's funny how people keep saying that Bioware employees are first now abandoning ship.

Most of the Mass Effect Team was gone by the team ME3 was in production, the original staff of Bioware is so small atm, that it was mostly key figures and some veterans left.

Still... this is showing some very, very "speculative" signs of Bioware still going downhill. God dammit EA, damn you and your buisness practices.

Fappy:
There is no way all these departures are going to look good to the shareholders.

Why the hell are you not a cat?!

Least you could've done was make a Yoruichi avatar to keep in tone.

And oh yeah, Bioware troubles... Sucks, I guess.

time to send some Lifebuoy like coated donuts to bioware and hope for the icing to bring closure and peace.
image

some people tend to fuck things up. but the way ea does it, with such efficiency is...... fascinating somehow.

Casual Shinji:

Fappy:
There is no way all these departures are going to look good to the shareholders.

Why the hell are you not a cat?!

Least you could've done was make a Yoruichi avatar to keep in tone.

And oh yeah, Bioware troubles... Sucks, I guess.

Well I don't really like Bleach, so...

It has cat ears in it and it's from the same show though!

>.>

<.<

Mao will come back eventually... though it may be a new avatar of him.

Fappy:

Casual Shinji:

Fappy:
There is no way all these departures are going to look good to the shareholders.

Why the hell are you not a cat?!

Least you could've done was make a Yoruichi avatar to keep in tone.

And oh yeah, Bioware troubles... Sucks, I guess.

Well I don't really like Bleach, so...

It has cat ears in it and it's from the same show though!

>.>

<.<

Mao will come back eventually... though it may be a new avatar of him.

No shit! I was always sure that cat was from Bleach. Hence why I mentioned Yoruichi (human form, aka hot girl cop-out).

Casual Shinji:

Fappy:

Casual Shinji:
Why the hell are you not a cat?!

Least you could've done was make a Yoruichi avatar to keep in tone.

And oh yeah, Bioware troubles... Sucks, I guess.

Well I don't really like Bleach, so...

It has cat ears in it and it's from the same show though!

>.>

<.<

Mao will come back eventually... though it may be a new avatar of him.

No shit! I was always sure that cat was from Bleach. Hence why I mentioned Yoruichi (human form, aka hot girl cop-out).

You are not the first one to make that mistake XD

I should change my avatar to Luna from Sailor Moon on April Fools just to fuck with everyone.

DVS BSTrD:
Bioware is losing people faster than the Old Republic is losing subscribers.

"What do you mean 'the ship is sinking'? My side's going up and up!"

Seriously, though, most of the staff left long ago. Brent Knowles (who had been with the company since Baldur's Gate) bailed during DAII. Armando Troisi (their lead cinematic designer, and practically the only guy there who understood the concept of "player agency") left between ME2 and 3. Karpyshyn left soon after jumping over to TOR. Most of the ME development staff is gone. The Dr.'s are gone. Even the infamous Stanley Woo was booted out of the QA department.

At this point, the only notable guys still there from the early days are David Gaider and Chris Priestly. Everyone else is gone.

Andy Chalk:

It's been a rough stretch for BioWare. Star Wars: The Old Republic Executive Producer Rich Vogel left in July, BioWare co-founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka quit in September and now Daniel Erickson, SWTOR's lead designer and creative director, has headed out the door.

This... This is a bad sign.

I know there have been people desperately saying that BioWare isn't losing ground, but this is getting pretty grim.

As others have pointed out, this is looking more and more like a sinking ship.

Andy Chalk:

In response to a Twitter user who said he was burned out on MMOs and missed games like Monkey Island, Full Throttle and Space Quest, he added, "Not funny at all. There's a reason Kickstarters for classic adventure games and classic RPGs have done so well."

It's a far cry from Erickson's gushing words about BioWare on his LinkedIn page, which hasn't been updated to reflect his departure. "Took a step down from Lead Designer role at EA to get into BioWare and learn from the best story designers," it says.

The reason for this is probably that developers are usually forced to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement when they leave if they want to receive their last payouts from whoever owns them. Meaning that even if they quit because the hours were absolutely horrendous, the work atmosphere toxic, and the executives as corrupt as a barrel of Mafia thugs, legally they can only say nice things about the company, not any of the stuff about why they left.

It's probably the only reason why companies like EA and Activision are still going. If developers routinely spoke out against the sort of conditions they're forced to work in, I think most level-headed gamers would end up going off those big publishers, if only from nausea.

Fappy:
You are not the first one to make that mistake XD

I should change my avatar to Luna from Sailor Moon on April Fools just to fuck with everyone.

Or you could just pick Bagi from Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature. =P

Damn this is getting really off topic.

Casual Shinji:

Fappy:
You are not the first one to make that mistake XD

I should change my avatar to Luna from Sailor Moon on April Fools just to fuck with everyone.

Or you could just pick Bagi from Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature. =P

Damn this is getting really off topic.

What the fuck did I just see?!?!

And yeah, derailed >.>

Fappy:

Casual Shinji:

Fappy:
You are not the first one to make that mistake XD

I should change my avatar to Luna from Sailor Moon on April Fools just to fuck with everyone.

Or you could just pick Bagi from Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature. =P

Damn this is getting really off topic.

What the fuck did I just see?!?!

The best damn punchline to an anime engrish scene, that's what.

Damn, Bioware is just losing people.

The founders explained why and I get it, but the other two?

I guess the Star Wars MMO they created didn't do what they expected, so I wonder if those two people are jumping ship before it goes further south.

Just another nail in Biowares coffin. It seems she's doomed for a slow death with all these departures, the smart ones are getting out now it seems before all the life boats are all gone.

In the end Bioware will just be another name crossed out on EAs list.

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This is disheartening. I genuinely enjoy the games BioWare churns out. I really hope Dragon Age III can alleviate any negative criticism many have with the studio itself.

I find it interesting that this guy worked for EA (and in a higher role) before Bioware, presumably for a long time if he was lead designer. I wonder if EA changed, or he saw a new side or his issues were with a different section of people than he normally met with.

I'm not entirely convinced by his analysis though, I agree the F2P well probably will only work for a small amount of people with buckets and we're not in the same situation that lead to LotoR making so much money in conversion, but I'm not sure if that means there's still space for subscription either

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