Rumor: Bioware being dissolved into EA

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"German site GamersGlobal is running the rumour that Zeschuck and Muzyka might be leaving BioWare and/or BioWare Austin might be coverted to EA Austin. The basis of the rumour is thin at this point, so please take this with a huge grain of salt. Here's a translation of the original German source:

Star Wars - The Old Republic is suffering from a shrinking subscriber base. An optional switch to F2P in autumn is supposed to turn things around. And in May, for the second time, several employees of Bioware Austin have been let go in a "restructuring effort". Another bad news could be that Bioware founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka might have left Bioware or could be in the process of leaving - possibly because of the limited success of the MMO that started as a challenger of WoW.

A trustworthy source has been told by an employee of Bioware Austin yesterday that neither Greg Zeschuk nor Ray Muzyka have been present at a Bioware Company Meeting in Austin, Texas, just a few days ago. The employee claimed that this has not been the case before at such a meeting. The six others members of Bioware Austin's leadership have been there. Also, Greg Zeschuk has not been seen for several weeks now, the Bioware Austin employee claims.

There are supposed to be internal rumours at Bioware Austin that Ray Muzyka (pictured left) and Greg Zeschuk have left Bioware. According to our source, some employees at Bioware Austin fear that the company will be transformed into EA Austin.

Please note that this news is a rumour without any official confirmation."

Source: http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/newsbit?newsbit=20159

Not the greatest of sources, but I wouldn't be surprised

That doesn't really make much sense. They have been putting teams under the Bioware name, only to move Bioware under the EA name?

I'm going to wait until there is at least some kind of source. Especially considering that, you know, Mass Effect 3 has sold almost 4 million copies. That's not exactly the "cause a studio to close down" sales figures. And according to EA's Q4 sales figures, made the company $200 million. Even with the problems of TOR, I doubt that that one game could cause every single branch of Bioware to shut down.

File this under threads to follow, but I don't see why. I know it's taken a little bit of a hit, but isn't there still some brand-recognition behind the Bioware name? Hearing that an RPG is a Bioware developed game piques more interest than EA Austin (formerly Bioware)

thebobmaster:
I'm going to wait until there is at least some kind of source. Especially considering that, you know, Mass Effect 3 has sold almost 4 million copies. That's not exactly the "cause a studio to close down" sales figures. And according to EA's Q4 sales figures, made the company $200 million. Even with the problems of TOR, I doubt that that one game could cause every single branch of Bioware to shut down.

I agree that we should wait for a legitimate source before deciding which is true, but personally I think it's perfectly plausible. EA hasn't been known for making the greatest business decisions as of late. They are proudly and rampantly making enemies of their customers, they are telling Steam the Steam Summer Sales are a bad business idea (even though games whose prices were reduced to 75% off saw a 1000-3000%+ increase in sales), and they are making games which need to sell over 5 million units at full price just to turn a profit from them. With all they've been doing lately, it honestly wouldn't surprise me if they dissolved Bioware. At this point I'm almost convinced they are deliberately trying to put their company in a tailspin.

I don't know if this would happen, but at least I would stop being weary of future games of theirs after Mass Effect 3 and DAII. Seeing "Bioware" on a package just skeeves me out now.

Lilani:

thebobmaster:
I'm going to wait until there is at least some kind of source. Especially considering that, you know, Mass Effect 3 has sold almost 4 million copies. That's not exactly the "cause a studio to close down" sales figures. And according to EA's Q4 sales figures, made the company $200 million. Even with the problems of TOR, I doubt that that one game could cause every single branch of Bioware to shut down.

I agree that we should wait for a legitimate source before deciding which is true, but personally I think it's perfectly plausible. EA hasn't been known for making the greatest business decisions as of late. They are proudly and rampantly making enemies of their customers, they are telling Steam the Steam Summer Sales are a bad business idea (even though games whose prices were reduced to 75% off saw a 1000-3000%+ increase in sales), and they are making games which need to sell over 5 million units at full price just to turn a profit from them. With all they've been doing lately, it honestly wouldn't surprise me if they dissolved Bioware. At this point I'm almost convinced they are deliberately trying to put their company in a tailspin.

There's making bad business decisions, and there's closing down an entire branch of studios that have consistently made you a profit over one game that had problems. It's not just Mass Effect 3. Dragon Age 2 sold 2 million copies within a month of release, and Dragon Age Origins sold even better. Even the famed "disaster" of The Old Republic had 1 million subscribers within 3 days, better than any other MMO has done. EA said, prior to the game's launch, that having 500,000 subscribers would be enough to start turning a profit.

Basically, Bioware is one of EA's gold-laying geese, and they'd be committing corporate suicide to close it down.

I assume a reporter was told to write something to bring hits to a site and this is what he came up with, you see this all the time in football with transfer rumours. Bioware makes money and it's name sells (if Bioware released a new game trailer tomorrow you would have a look) I can only imagine if such a thing where to happen it would come off the back of huge inhouse problems we are unaware of.

In any case shall we just throw wild accusations in the direction of EA? I heard they melt down unicorns and snort it off the back of dead westwood studio employees.

Disastrous as The Old Republic was I really doubt they're going to be dissolving Bioware when not long ago they were seeking to even expand the brand by giving the Bioware name to other otherwise-unrelated studio such as the one currently making Command and Conquer: Generals 2.

thebobmaster:
There's making bad business decisions, and there's closing down an entire branch of studios that have consistently made you a profit over one game that had problems. It's not just Mass Effect 3. Dragon Age 2 sold 2 million copies within a month of release, and Dragon Age Origins sold even better. Even the famed "disaster" of The Old Republic had 1 million subscribers within 3 days, better than any other MMO has done. EA said, prior to the game's launch, that having 500,000 subscribers would be enough to start turning a profit.

Basically, Bioware is one of EA's gold-laying geese, and they'd be committing corporate suicide to close it down.

Again, though, it wouldn't surprise me. EA's is off in its own little world right now, outside of all reason and totally uninterested in even considering the possibility of it being wrong. When you've got a company totally ignoring its enormous and growing PR problem and telling the most successful digital platform by far that it's not doing it right, it's clear that company isn't exactly in a "making rational and constructive decisions" kind of mood. This might be too far even for them, but I still think there's a grain of possibility here.

They weren't already?

Anyway, hasn't that pretty much happened already? Hence the Bioware name being slapped onto the rotting corpse of an old RTS franchise.

That article's a bit late. This happened a few years back.
Not news.

On serious topic here, if it did happen, I wouldn't be surprised or really that sad.
There was once a time when I trumpeted Biowares accolades from every tower I conquered, but those days have long waned.

Greg Zeschuk being devastated over his WoW killer going F2P makes sense. He was really involved in development, even got a SWTOR tattoo. Muzyka has other interests, so he'll probably hang on to his EA position, just staying out of sight.

Though I wouldn't want to be in the place of a BioWare employee right now. Of the 4 EA branches BioWare is simply the least successful one. EA Games has NFS and Battlefield, EA Sports has 10 dominating sports brands, EA Maxis has The Sims - those franchises are basically EA's lifeblood, making them money year after year.

I think that's what they hoped to achieve with SWTOR for EA BioWare, but now it's clear that won't happen, and I doubt they'll get another shot. They'll be downsized and folded into EA Games, the same way Mythic was downsized and folded into BioWare after WAR flopped.

Well, if it goes the way of the dodo it can do so reasonably sure that their best games have all been made already. I don't think Bioware could possibly maintain/improve it's level of productions.

thebobmaster:

Basically, Bioware is one of EA's gold-laying geese, and they'd be committing corporate suicide to close it down.

As big of a fan as I am of that analogy, may I posit another one?

EA is terminally-ill, and Bioware is their last compatible organ donor.

That's the only fathomable reason I can find for wanting to gut their last bastion of quality (well, apart from DICE. I admit, Bad Company ironically wasn't bad at all.)

while i doubt that EA will be getting rid of the bioware name. its still a recognised brand name for them they do have a history of folding developers like this

As far as trustworthy sources I havn't heard anything that resembles what the OP is talking about or concluding.

I also know that Bioware is currently on multiple projects, thou with how much the "Bioware" name was added it is debatable if it is still Bioware. That Greg Zeschuk might end up leaving I seems perfectly plausible, but the name it self definitely will be stamped on some titles that are currently in development.

blood for the sacrificial god!
image

Hmm well I don't think they are going to dissolve Bioware YET!!!! they will eventually because this is EA we talking about they've done it before and they'll do it again.
What EA will probably do is once Bioware's name is almost worthless they will dissolve the original Bioware reshuffling available staff onto other projects and have several shell company's with the name Bioware "Insert city team is in" then have the shell companies work on shitting out sequels and spin-offs of Biowares original games and other IP's that EA owns(They already have started doing a similar thing with the C&C game being developed by a new Bioware team).

Who cares? We all know Bioware's days are numbered.

If this is true I will have to finally give up on Bioware.

With the way Bioware does things now (or at least the way people talk about Bioware) it seems they've already been dissolved in to EA in all but name. Because of that I wouldn't be surprised if this rumour were true.

rhizhim:
blood for the sacrificial god!
image


Didn't see this one coming...

All they would be doing is making Bioware Austin part of EA. The rest of Bioware will stay the same.

Quite a dumb PR move. I looked like F2P was gonna be implemented reasonably well and most people would stay subbed anyway, then it looks like Bio would hand it over to EA to fuck it up however they want and they loose everyone's confidence.

After the debacle of SWTOR, Zeschuk and Muzyka's names will be mud to EA, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if they're looking to get out now. Serves them right.

On the bigger picture, whether or not the name changes, the Bioware of old is already gone.

Ugh, they already let go a large number of people and announced their free to play plans. Changing the name of the Austin studio wouldn't be much of a bomb shell after that.

I'm going to post this rumour on to the BSN, oh what fun I shall have.... *rubs hands*

Weren't they already in the process of rebranding non bioware studios as bioware studios?
Tis rather weird they would rebrand everything bioware as being EA now.

Guess we will see if this turns out to be true, but knowing ea's past history at cannibalizing devs i guess this is a real possibility.

Fantastic news. Finally Bioware will stop dumbing down the RPG genre with their dating-sims.

Baldur's gate was pretty good, but everything after that was shit.

They're not gonna let the Bioware name disappear. There's too much marketing and PR value in being able to slap the Bioware logo on games. But I wouldn't be surprised if things got...interesting...

Demon ID:
I assume a reporter was told to write something to bring hits to a site and this is what he came up with, you see this all the time in football with transfer rumours. Bioware makes money and it's name sells (if Bioware released a new game trailer tomorrow you would have a look) I can only imagine if such a thing where to happen it would come off the back of huge inhouse problems we are unaware of.

That's what I'm thinking too, they have a "trustworthy source" that heard from an "anonymous employee", so some lower level guy in Austin talked to a German dude about this ...

Rumours are just that, people should stop spreading them, also doest make much sense to leave the highest level jobs in a still profitable company. Especially since they are the founders. Bankers don't leave till they are billions in the loss, even if their last games had issues, they still sold.

That said I can see how dissolving only Bioware Austin into EA could be a good move and making Austin EAs MMO base for the future and if that were to happen, that would be the best time for them to step out for new challenges or however they want to spin it. Thy have that Codebaby company still after all.

Isn't Bioware's main studio in edmonton? So even if they they removed the Bioware label from Austin, the old Bioware we know will still be around.

It seems odd that EA would make a U turn on its MO of using their studios like a designer label and milking the hell out of them. That said they could have plans for their MMOs/F2Ps that they dont want Bioware associated with it.

EA actually using its brain to protect the image of one of their studios? Sounds crazy

Um. It's BioWare Austin. Guys, BioWare is primarily a Canadian company. If BioWare Austin gets eliminated, the main BioWare company is still in Edmonton. If I'm not mistaken, BioWare Austin isn't behind either Mass Effect or Dragon Age, so both of those are safe.

Spartan212:

A trustworthy source

'

Huh, looks like Mr. Socks is on the lose again.

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