This is why you dont sell yourself to EA.
They didn't. EA bought Elevation Partners, a consortium that owns several developers and companies, one of which is Bioware. The developer didn't have any say in the matter.
I wish people would stop perpetrating this myth. You want to blame someone, blame John Riccitello. He used his status as board member of Elevation to leverage the funds needed to buy the company (and essentially stage a takeover of Bioware).
OT: All new IP's are a risk. That's the whole point. The only variables are how much money you're willing to invest into the product, and whether the product breaks even. Given EA's current climate of pumping tens of millions into games that shouldn't have that level of funding (or don't need it in the first place), then expecting them to do 4-5 million units in sales with the same old, tired marketing campaigns, it's no wonder why they're so hellbent on driving their established franchises into the ground.
It's probably a good thing that Agent never got off the ground. AP did a phenomenal job of tailoring the different skill trees and decisions to entirely different gameplay experiences, far beyond that of even the original ME. I'm sure that if Agent was released, it would be subjected to the same "day-one DLC/monetization strategy/tie-in game" garbage that EA has shoveled out over the last five years.
Given the misplaced priorities and ass-clenching timetables EA puts its big games on, I don't think Bioware could have handled the extra load. (between Mass Effect 3 and SW:ToR, most of Bioware's talent was tied up already)
I mean, they handed Dragon Age 2 off to the B-listers; I think we all saw how well that turned out.
I think EA's problem as far as making new games in concerned isn't that they're evil (and this is a revelation I've only just had, because I really did think they were evil), it's that they don't think a good game can come from an underperforming genre. Look at the other spy thrillers we've had. The Bourne Conspiracy, Alpha Protocol...James Bond? But the gist is, no universally acclaimed excellent games. EA thinks 'Well, guess spy thrillers just aren't a good idea' and stays away from them, preferring to pump out the same tired shit with more and more ways to ream their customers, because it's guaranteed money. They just don't understand what people like in games. And I'm hoping eventually, as everyone collectively realises that they've played all of EA's games before, that attitude will kill them. They're not even making a massive profit as it is, as a business. So their risk-averse attitude is unfortunate but understandable, it's just a real pity that it has affected Bioware, as all but the most naive of us knew it would.
thats €A for you. always afraid of something new. it might not sell well and they dont make the amount of money they usually would get.
the idea sounds great and i would have gotten it as well and might enjoyed it. but no, €A wants just a simple action driven game and making the other companies, who have actually good ideas, look bad.
this could have been my stealth game between mgs game, i dont have that anymore
because perfect dark isnt a thing anymore, and ghost in the shell wont come out with mmore games, unless kojima makes those....
MAKE GHOST IN THE SHELL GAME, DO EEET NAO
Alpha Protocol had the right idea, but its story and characters never reached the level of appeal that BioWare's Mass Effect or Dragon Age franchises held.
Disagree. Obsidian and Sega just didn't have the massive advertising budget that EA has.
It would be interesting to see what EA's exact reasoning was.
How saturated was the "spy game" market at the time? There was a Splinter Cell game in '06 (Double Agent), a Hitman game (sort of similar concepts) in '06, and by '09 Splinter Cell: Conviction must have been in production. Alpha Protocol was also in production at the time, so I can see if the executives thought the market was already saturated (or going to be) enough to make it difficult for a new IP. Additionally, how well did these games sell? Was there a large enough market for the genre to justify the investment?
Who exactly from Bioware would have worked on it? Was one of the reasons for turning this down so that resources could be allocated to SW:TOR (not sure when production on that one started)? Would allocating people to this project have taken resources away from the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises? ME2 was in production in '09, and a lot of DLC for DA:O and the Awakening expansion was likely still in production, no to mention they were probably starting production on DA2 soon thereafter.
I like to rag on EA as much as the next guy, but in their shoes I would have likely done something similar - focus on developing the two IPs (maybe 3 with Star Wars) you've got going (and making them GOOD), and put the spy game on the back burner as the next new series to work on once ME and DA are finished (again, assuming there's a market for the genre).
So it would pretty much be Alpha Protocol with worse writing?
I was trying to think of a way to say this, then I stumbled upon your comment. Thanks.
Ehhhh... I don't know why, but I feel this would've been a bad game anyway...