BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk says consoles are “the past” and that blockbuster game development is “precisely the wrong thing” for developers to be pursuing in today’s videogame market.
BioWare is a studio that knows a thing or two about making triple-A videogames. In recent years there’s been the Mass Effect series and the Dragon Age series, and something related to Star Wars is apparently in development at this very moment. Even its early work on Baldur’s Gate ended up as a sprawling, multi-part RPG saga. Yet Zeschuk calimed that while everybody wants to make huge hit games, it’s not necessarily the best path to take.
“Triple-A game creation is a poor goal for developers working today,” he said during an address at the 2010 Develop Conference. “While blockbuster game creation is everything that most game developers working today growing up wanted to do, it’s precisely the wrong thing to chase in gaming’s contemporary landscape.”
Publishers and investors are increasingly averse to risk, Zeschuk said, which is putting pressure on innovation and creativity. “Where the bottom of the market had dropped out at one point, now it’s the middle of the market has dropped out,” he added. “Unless you can be in the top ten releases at one given time, it’s unlikely that a triple-A game is going to make money.”
On the upside, he also predicted that studios, including BioWare, will have many other opportunities to pursue, as gaming continues to branch out and away from conventional consoles. “The future isn’t necessarily on console. That’s the past. It’s going to be a strong thing going forward, but the future is in all of these new businesses that are starting up,” he said. “We want to expand because, you look at what kids are playing on. Kids are playing on iPhones and iPads. The 3DS looks pretty amazing. All these platform options, we want to be touching on all those.”
“We’re going to continue to do triple-A console,” he added, “but we’re also going to be exploring pretty aggressively.”