Mythic Entertainment Drops the B-Word

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Vault101:
I'm confused....

does "Bioware" still exsit in one form or another? I know they added the name to other things but has it been scrapped completly?

Bioware still exists (in a manner of speaking) its just that EA realises that slapping the brand on everything isn't going to work out now that that Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk have retired as well as the whole TOR not being a WOW killer, ME3 leaving a bad taste in the mouth of many people...

Don't worry, there is still BioWare Edmonton, BioWare Austin, BioWare Victory, BioWare Montreal, BioWare Ireland, and BioWare San Francisco still.

Ed130:

Vault101:
I'm confused....

does "Bioware" still exsit in one form or another? I know they added the name to other things but has it been scrapped completly?

Bioware still exists (in a manner of speaking) its just that EA realises that slapping the brand on everything isn't going to work out now that that Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk have retired as well as the whole TOR not being a WOW killer, ME3 leaving a bad taste in the mouth of many people...

Don't worry, there is still BioWare Edmonton, BioWare Austin, BioWare Victory, BioWare Montreal, BioWare Ireland, and BioWare San Francisco still.

It dawns on me that you may have inadvertently stumbled on why the fuck bioware sucks so much now.

Altorin:

Ed130:

Bioware still exists (in a manner of speaking) its just that EA realises that slapping the brand on everything isn't going to work out now that that Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk have retired as well as the whole TOR not being a WOW killer, ME3 leaving a bad taste in the mouth of many people...

Don't worry, there is still BioWare Edmonton, BioWare Austin, BioWare Victory, BioWare Montreal, BioWare Ireland, and BioWare San Francisco still.

It dawns on me that you may have inadvertently stumbled on why the fuck bioware sucks so much now.

Which?

The dilution of the brand name?

The string of (ok lets be nice here) average games that they have released recently?

Or the large numbers of high level Old Guard leaving for greener pastures?

They must be trying to use some form of tactical genius. To bad Creed works for the Imperium and not Chaos.

Not sure how well this tactic shall work. "Re-re-branding themselves with a name change". Maybe it'll work, but I don't play their games. So w/e I guess.

Anybody else remember the jubilation when "BioWare bought their first company!" No? Didn't think so.

I would now like to point out that this is the company that wants to turn Ultima IV into a multiplayer Action RPG.

What these necessarily have to do with EABioWareMythic Entertainment Systems Media Incorporated? I was thinking about pointing out that they oughta maybe focus on actually making good games, but I haven't played their three biggest properties, so they might actually have been okay.

kinda hard to justify leveraging the name of a company famous for single player RPGs when you've announced everything you make is going to be online mutiplayer from now on...

Vault101:
I'm confused....

does "Bioware" still exsit in one form or another? I know they added the name to other things but has it been scrapped completly?

I just went into a detailed analysis of this.

Bioware still exists as Bioware. Bioware still designs AAA level games for EA.

Mythic was an MMO company that got picked up by EA to develop "Warhammer Age Of Recknoning" due to their chops from "Dark Age Of Camelot", it dropped the ball heavily. They were shoehorned into Bioware to help develop TOR due to their expertise, a point brought up along with some nasty supposition by "EA Louse" once upon a time in his famous letter.

Mythic has been busted down from AAA game development or MMOs which was their specialty to developing mobile games, which incidently also take less of an investment of cash from their owner/publisher.

The general sentiments here seem to be that EA is abandoning Bioware and trying to seperate as much as they can from it because of it's failures. Truthfully even Bioware's failures have probably made more money than most company's successes at this point. What's more a lot of issues can be placed at the feet of companies like Mythic who were "the experts" of these generes as well as putting too much on Bioware's table at one time.

If Bioware was a huge failure, EA would have just dissolved them or done something to punish them or make them less of an investment at the least, knocking them down to projects that take little in the way of resources.

Love them or hate them (they need to regain a lot of trust from me), the bottom line is Bioware still operates like it ever did, and has a lot of EA money and big development coming their way for the moment at least. The companies like Mythic that are being made independant again... well, they pretty much just got kicked into the kiddie pool.

At least for the next 15 minutes it seems Bioware is still EA's golden boy, a lot is going to depend on what happens with "Dragon Age 3". If that tanks as bad as I fear given what they are saying (must play as human, more like 2 than "Origins", etc...) I suspect it will be the death of Bioware, at least as a big developer, I imagine they will either be dissolved or kicked down to lesser projects. I wish them luck, but to be honest I'm not likely to give them an initial sale for "Dragon Age 3", and wait and see what it turns out like before investing money in it. If a lot of people think like me, they might get tanked when EA doesn't get the release day sales it wants.

Therumancer:
snip.

I'm 50/50 on the financial prospects of DA3.....not sure how much of an effect the bad feelings from ME3 will have

but honestly I think it (and ME4) will still sell (weather or not to EA's standard is a different matter)

Vault101:

Therumancer:
snip.

I'm 50/50 on the financial prospects of DA3.....not sure how much of an effect the bad feelings from ME3 will have

but honestly I think it (and ME4) will still sell (weather or not to EA's standard is a different matter)

Well the thing to understand is that it's not just bad feelings from ME3 but also what happened with DA2 itself. That's TWO games that got some rather strong response from fans who bought the game. It doesn't effect the bottom line of those titles since the people who complained already paid the money, but it does raise the question as to whether the people who are angry will continue to support products. ToR's fate also contributes because it simply wasn't what was promised.

One thing you'll notice is that I, and a lot of people, haven't exactly been saying "I'm not going to buy these games". Rather the thing is that I'm going to assume they are dogs until proven otherwise. I'm going to wait until the games are out, initial hype has faded, and then see what kind of lasting impression the games have left. I'm going to ignore the initial fanboys raving about "OMG, it's perfect, I'm glad I bought it" and probably take the haters with a grain of salt, but take them a LOT more seriously than those saying good things simply because of the previous games in the series and they deserve suspician.

The thing is that if people are simply wary and take a conservative response it's going to tank the all important "initial sales" that make or break games. What's more this is a situation where if the game has major flaws, I'm just not going to buy it. To earn my trust back they pretty much have to prove they can release an awesomely high quality product that meets my expectations, before I give them any money. I'm not going to take any more risks on them.

Part of the point of waiting is that ME3 was a good game up until the ending which ruined not only the game, but the series. Dragon Age 2's ending and the sequence leading up to it was pretty much garbage as well when you get down to it. Basically this is one of those cases where the spoilers are going to sell the game, I'm just not going to get invested in something that ends with a major let down.

See, EA had an unprecedented chance to win my support (and that of a lot of people). Most people wouldn't have cared enough about a game series that took a dump on them like ME3 did to bother to demand an ending change on that level. Had EA backed down and did what they should have done, I'd have a lot more respect for them and the committment to quality games and good writing. Instead they released this whole "clarification" thing which doesn't alter the fundemental problems with the ME3 finale. In doing what they did, they showed they care more about their ego than the fans, and simply cannot admit to having made a mistake. As a result when it comes to EA/Bioware products I have to make sure they get it right the first time, because I sure as heck can't expect them to realize when they F@kced up and fix it.

ME4's sales depend on a lot of factors. There are still plenty of bio-drones who stood behind the whole "Starchild" thing and the "ending clarification" pack, enough to make it a moderate success. Really, their best hope with it is to ensure that the beginning set up for ME4 more or less undoes a lot of the specifics of the ME3 ending. I'd imagine from their perspective it would be "meh, look it isn't that bad, and we planned it this way, you just misunderstood, don't you all feel silly" as a face saving gesture, and then people might forgive it as long as the biodrones didn't make themselves insufferable and understood what was behind it. Mass Effect might survive as a moderatly successful franchise, but I doubt it will be the continuous blockbuster it might have been with what they did with 3.

Dragon Age 3 is largely dependant on whether or not Bioware finally "gets it". The first game which met with cricial acclaim and avoided the division of the second one was a spiriual successor to "Baldur's Gate".. a series of games people still play today even with archaic tech. This was a new version with modern technology. It succeded because it wasn't some kind of half arsed action RPG despite what some complainers said. It also succeeded because of the options for the hero and how certain aspects of the story could play out differantly in the details due to choice of race, origin, etc. It also created a number of characters that people liked and cared about, as well as leaving key plot points at a cliffhanger.

For DA3 to succeed they pretty much need to make it more like the first one, include race, gender, and origin choices, and perhaps most importantly start tying up key plot points. What's going on with Morrigan and her child (based around choices in DA:O) is for example one of the biggest things they need to work out in DA3. If they simply change locations, have an entirely new story with an occasional face/voice actor from the previous games showing up to say "hi", that's not going to do it, and not resolve anything from the first two games, there is no real point to it as a sequel. DA2 ended with all kinds of questions that also needed to be answered, but you'll notice people talk less about them because as a story it failed to get many people's attention. Hawke was a one note dork you couldn't determine much about who may or may not have done anything you had him do (for all we know he died from Aids after swimming in the pool at the inn, and our dwarf friend is a giant troll), and to say almost everyone who figured into the ending was a complete moron would be an understatement, but that's still no reason to just let things just kind of stop without any resolution for our "hero".

At any rate given the whole "the hero will be human exclusively" thing combined with few reassuring details on gameplay, the story, or anything else, I don't have high hopes for DA3 to be honest. Truthfully I half expect their big innovations will be to let you change the hero's color palette, and remove all stats and equipment from the game, the guys in platemail jumping off roofs like Ninjas, will now be actual Ninjas but with french accents, and those giant Spiders and stuff that didn't appear until you triggered them will now themselves leap down with backflips to make them more ninja-like. Oh yes and our new hero will be known as "Player 1", his sidekick "Player 2" will only appear if you use the new multiplayer mode.

Well that or they will decide all of that is too creative and go further back in their playbook to pull out something they already used and pass it off as new. The elderly sage giving you all of your quests will turn out to secretly have been Logoth Zanta the entire time... (award yourself a million nerd points if you get that one).

Therumancer:
mega snip

huh...yeah that..I guess

all I know is even though I am probably one of the more obsessed Mass Effect fans and Bioware apologists.....I just don't know how I'd feel about trying ME4

I don't want to care again and get punched in the face with great big "FUCK YOU FOR CARING DUMBASS!" like ME3 did to all of us (but tbh I probably would more out of curiosity than anything (where do they go from there?)

but that (and what you said) brings about the question of weather or not the creator is the absolute authority on a work...I think somtimes that shouldn't be the case..much like (in an article) saying geroge lucas didnt actually understand WHY people liked star wars

the ending of ME3 didn't understand WHY people liked Mass Effect (hint: its NOT for its similarities to 2001 space odesey)

I'd also say that defending the ending seems to be a minority opinion..that even the most hardcore of fans still defend the series in spite of the ending

Vault101:

Therumancer:
mega snip

huh...yeah that..I guess

all I know is even though I am probably one of the more obsessed Mass Effect fans and Bioware apologists.....I just don't know how I'd feel about trying ME4

I don't want to care again and get punched in the face with great big "FUCK YOU FOR CARING DUMBASS!" like ME3 did to all of us (but tbh I probably would more out of curiosity than anything (where do they go from there?)

but that (and what you said) brings about the question of weather or not the creator is the absolute authority on a work...I think somtimes that shouldn't be the case..much like (in an article) saying geroge lucas didnt actually understand WHY people liked star wars

the ending of ME3 didn't understand WHY people liked Mass Effect (hint: its NOT for its similarities to 2001 space odesey)

I'd also say that defending the ending seems to be a minority opinion..that even the most hardcore of fans still defend the series in spite of the ending

Well, I'd pretty much agree that the creator is the absolute authority, but like most authority it can be mis-used and make the person doing it a douchbag. A douchebag can also realize they did something wrong and fix it, by insisting that they are right despite all evidence to the contrary they just become increasingly bigger douchebags.

The demand to change the ending of ME3 is sort of an acknowlegement of that abillity in the hands of the creators of the game, which is why it's up to them to change the ending, as opposed to say some fan fiction writer who simply comes up with a better one, even if everyone liked the fanfic better it wouldn't be the actual ending, that would have to come about in the actual game, the guys creating it have to be the ones that acknowlege it.

What your seeing in the case of ME3 is pure arrogance on the part of the creator and increasing levels of douchebaggery as they refuse to acknowlege the problem and fix it, despite people being nice enough to inform them of it. Nobody has seriously argued that the creators don't have the right to give this game that ending and keep it, just that it makes them jerks. Like most jerks and douchebags it influances whether people are going to be interested in their future work.

There is no way to force EA/Bioware to fix things, all you can do is refuse to patronize their works and hope they get a clue.

-

That aside, there are some seperate issues here, like who is "the creator" in cases like this, which I think is half the problem. A lot of the issues with the ME3 ending revolve around them deciding to not give the promised answers and resolution for marketing reasons to drag this out. There was a lot said about the ending in some "facts app" that got released, showing that what EA/Bioware was telling people about the plans for the game as it was being made and released, was not the same as what the team was actually doing while it was being made. A deliberate effort was made to not deliver the ending and answers people wanted and were told to expect.

In short, ME3 and it's ending was pretty much the work of a commitee of businessmen, even if a specific writer can be credited for various things, they were ultimatly being dictated to based not on the needs of the story and the integrity of the work, but what the bean counters thought would be the best direction to take in order to maximize profits.

I personally suspect EA didn't have the ending changed and the promises delivered on, due to the philsophy that "any publicity is good publicity". The people raging already paid them, leading to a massive payday. They probably figure the furor will turn into more sales with people buying the new game just to see what they did, much like you mentioned. That's why I refuse to buy it upon initial release, I'm not going to give them money anymore until I am sure of the quality of the product, which includes the writing, right down to the end. I encourage others to do the same thing.

At any rate, the "authority" of a creator is something that exists when it can be clearly tracked to one person. In cases where that isn't true, I think it's an increasingly touchy subject for reasons demonstrated by ME3. Any way that it goes, for something to be "official" it does have to be done by those who have the liscence and can produce the media.

When it comes to guys like George Lucas, as sad as it is to say, Star Wars was his to ruin. I think a lot of the problem is that as you said, he never really understood the appeal of his own work. I also think a lot of it is simply that he became seduced by the money and increasingly looked at things from a merchandizing perspective.

One thing I read a while back was about how when it comes to Star Wars the least popular aspects of the series with the fans, are the ones that made the most money. Stuffed Ewoks and Jar Jar merchandise and things like that sold stupidly well in products aimed at the very young, and were non-threatening enough to appeal to parents. Simply put, a gun toting Han Solo isn't the kind of thing your going to want to give your 3 year old, but an Ewok to snuggle up to is a possibility. Part of the merchandising genius of Star Wars is there was something there for everyone from really little kids, to teens and adults interested in the action and fantasy, the problem is those things don't entirely play well together, the cutesy elements don't really belond in a serious action movie. By forcing all of this together (and is's amazing how well it worked despite all of the hate) a crazy brand name was created which can produce a product for just about anyone. The extension of cutesy elements and inserting them into the older movies makes a degree of sense if it does happen to be true that things like the Ewoks outsold other kinds of products and merchandise, with more people actually spending the cash for that stuff for young children, than say more "serious" props and replicas and such for themselves.

Therumancer:

In short, ME3 and it's ending was pretty much the work of a commitee of businessmen, even if a specific writer can be credited for various things, they were ultimatly being dictated to based not on the needs of the story and the integrity of the work, but what the bean counters thought would be the best direction to take in order to maximize profits.

well I heard that it was "all Casey" from some EA guy himself (not himself obviously...an article) which makes it sound like it was

1.an abvious time/rescource constraint

2. somone who wanted to be "deep and arty" without the faintest Idea of what the fuck "deep and arty" is or why "deep and arty" as seen there is a terrible fucking Idea (sorry, there I go again)

also I'm not sure I agree on the second point...to me this does not seem like a profitable ending (I have not played the extended cut)...it doesnt leave it open for another installment because when you take what we saw literally (as I belive we must now) EVERYTHING IS FUCKED to put it lightly, the more you think bout it the more fucked it becomes

actually to be honest I would LOVE to play a mass effect 4 where shepard "un-fucks" the universe (like tracking down the normandy) oh god I would buy that game..that game would be awsome....but they said thats it for shepard...and so it still sucks

I personally suspect EA didn't have the ending changed and the promises delivered on, due to the philsophy that "any publicity is good publicity".

the infamous "speculation for everyone!" seems to suort that...not only from EA but hudson/whoever themselves

At any rate, the "authority" of a creator is something that exists when it can be clearly tracked to one person.

drew whats-his-name is the closest thing to that...however he left Bioware before ME3's release and I dont know how much of a hand he had in ME3 or even ME2

Vault101:

Therumancer:

In short, ME3 and it's ending was pretty much the work of a commitee of businessmen, even if a specific writer can be credited for various things, they were ultimatly being dictated to based not on the needs of the story and the integrity of the work, but what the bean counters thought would be the best direction to take in order to maximize profits.

well I heard that it was "all Casey" from some EA guy himself (not himself obviously...an article) which makes it sound like it was

1.an abvious time/rescource constraint

2. somone who wanted to be "deep and arty" without the faintest Idea of what the fuck "deep and arty" is or why "deep and arty" as seen there is a terrible fucking Idea (sorry, there I go again)

also I'm not sure I agree on the second point...to me this does not seem like a profitable ending (I have not played the extended cut)...it doesnt leave it open for another installment because when you take what we saw literally (as I belive we must now) EVERYTHING IS FUCKED to put it lightly, the more you think bout it the more fucked it becomes

actually to be honest I would LOVE to play a mass effect 4 where shepard "un-fucks" the universe (like tracking down the normandy) oh god I would buy that game..that game would be awsome....but they said thats it for shepard...and so it still sucks

I personally suspect EA didn't have the ending changed and the promises delivered on, due to the philsophy that "any publicity is good publicity".

the infamous "speculation for everyone!" seems to suort that...not only from EA but hudson/whoever themselves

At any rate, the "authority" of a creator is something that exists when it can be clearly tracked to one person.

drew whats-his-name is the closest thing to that...however he left Bioware before ME3's release and I dont know how much of a hand he had in ME3 or even ME2

Well, the thing is that when you work within an established universe and mythology people expect consistincy. The ME3 ending could be seen as profit driven because if accepted it pretty much levels everything to the point where there arguably is no continuity, anything and everything done by Shepard or established in the game back story about civilizations and such is pretty much moot. Someone can drag out "Mass Effect" and have a Krogan or an Asari walking around and claim it's all the same universe, picking and choosing what elements to use, and going back to the cry of "OMG, there was an apocolypse, it destroyed everythiiing!" to prevent any possible inconsistincies.

Basically I think it was a marketing ploy to keep the Mass Effect brand name alive for the sales, without having to get a bunch of continuity experts to look everything over (at least for a while). They could use the brand name, some art and concept assets, and otherwise poop out whatever derivitive sci-fi property they wanted and call it Mass Effect.

It's sort of like how people complain about various series changing tons of stuff except for a few iconic bits, to the point where it might as well be a totally new IP, but the name is being used for recognition. Like what a lot of people complain about when they discuss what Bethesda did with "Fallout" for example. In this case though EA planned it out and pretty much wiped the slate clean in the continuity, so they could start anew and hopefully avoid that issue and keep their brand name.

I suspect the problem started when we were hearing that they wanted to turn Mass Effect into a franchise. Originally the storyline was supposed to be planned out as a trilogy, around the time of ME2 I started to hear the first serious comments about them wanting to keep this going on well beyond the triology, so instead of just tying everything up, they decided to leave it in the most empty, yet name-preserving shape they could.

I'm tired, sorry, I said the same thing a bunch of differant ways (more or less).

Ed130:
Don't worry, there is still BioWare Edmonton, BioWare Austin, BioWare Victory, BioWare Montreal, BioWare Ireland, and BioWare San Francisco still.

BioWare Ireland doesn't exist anymore, they dropped the name and "repurposed" it to general EA use back when Greg & Ray were fired: http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/09/18/irish-bioware-support-center-for-swtor-converting-to-general-ea/

The "BioWare Victory" rename of Victory Games was entirely retarded as they have NOTHING whatsoever to do with them and I expect them to correct that at some point in the future too.

"BioWare Austin" had to lay off ~200 people back in May: http://twitter.com/georgeb3dr/status/205007250765520898 and I believe even more people lately after the failure of The Old Republic.

Vault101:
I'm 50/50 on the financial prospects of DA3.....not sure how much of an effect the bad feelings from ME3 will have

but honestly I think it (and ME4) will still sell (weather or not to EA's standard is a different matter)

I'd think if Dragon Age 3 fails it's more due to the utterly horrible piece of crap that Dragon Age 2 was over anything else:
image
image

Also, it's quality.

Dexter111:

Ed130:
Don't worry, there is still BioWare Edmonton, BioWare Austin, BioWare Victory, BioWare Montreal, BioWare Ireland, and BioWare San Francisco still.

BioWare Ireland doesn't exist anymore, they dropped the name and "repurposed" it to general EA use back when Greg & Ray were fired: http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/09/18/irish-bioware-support-center-for-swtor-converting-to-general-ea/

The "BioWare Victory" rename of Victory Games was entirely retarded as they have NOTHING whatsoever to do with them and I expect them to correct that at some point in the future too.

"BioWare Austin" had to lay off ~200 people back in May: http://twitter.com/georgeb3dr/status/205007250765520898 and I believe even more people lately after the failure of The Old Republic.

I knew Austin was taking it in the neck over TOR but I didn't realise that Ireland got renamed.

Ed130:
I knew Austin was taking it in the neck over TOR but I didn't realise that Ireland got renamed.

Actually, "Bioware Victory" seems to also ALREADY be back to "Victory Games", if Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioWare_Victory

And the Command & Conquer site are anything to go by: http://www.commandandconquer.com/

image

So all that is left is BioWare Edmonton, BioWare Montreal, a severely weakened BioWare Austin and BioWare San Francisco (formerly EA 2D)

Which are also the only ones still displayed here: http://www.bioware.com/careers

WabbitTwacks:
Let's forget about the reused dungeons and the ending that just proved that all mages are just abominations (why did I try to help them anyway? Not gonna trust a single mage in DA universe again).

I actually really liked the ending, and thought it followed naturally from established lore. Conceptually, DA mages aren't much different from male magic users in The Wheel of Time: they could snap at any moment and turn into psychotic monsters of destruction (parallels between "Tranquils" and "gentling", as well). In Dragon Age, there are ways to reduce the chances of snapping, and that's why the magic circles exist and are overseen by the Templars.*

And the mages know this. That's why in Origins, after you save the magic circle and the Templars are still debating whether to invoke the Annulment, the mage leader doesn't strongly object. As a mage, he knows better than anyone how out of control abominations can get, so his position is basically, "I'm not possessed, but do what you believe will protect people."

Personally, I think part of the point of DAII was to show players how dangerous mages really are in the Dragon Age universe, how much of a knife's edge they walk, because a lot of players didn't really get it. The Templars aren't fantasy Nazis, oppressing innocent people because they disagree with their beliefs. The Templars are a necessary bulwark that protects everyone from the chaos that abominations (or even just criminal mages) can inflict.

Add to that the fact that it was mages who corrupted the Creator's city, thus causing the Darkspawn and the Blights, and I'm surprised more mages aren't treated like they are in Kirkwall. I mean, they shouldn't be; I think the Fereldan way of doing things struck a pretty good balance between freedom and safety (up until the revolutionists staged a coup), but it's understandable that the Kirkwall Templars acted how they did, particularly as more and more mages became possessed by demons.

*Sure, Morrigan was never possessed, but for every one wild mage in control like her, you kill twenty abominations in the wilds.

I think it's safe to say BioWare won't be an EA division much longer.

Which could be for the best if they're just folded into EA Games and given freedom to do their own thing without the RPG/MMO AAA+ titan megalomania.

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