Is the noted Canadian RPG studio assisting in the penning of the fiction for Maxis’ upcoming Diablo/Spore hybrid?

Last week, EA unveiled a surprising new title: Darkspore, an Action-RPG in the style of Diablo but with the genetic-and-biological theme of Spore. This past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, Maxis discussed the game in a bit more depth, reports Gamespot, and in the process apparently revealed something rather interesting regarding the script and story.

Word on the street has it that fellow EA studio BioWare, known for RPG epics like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, will be helping the SimStudio in writing Darkspore. Considering that BioWare games are known for the strength of their writing, this would probably be a good thing for anyone whose interest the game had piqued.

However, while some sources (including the Gamespot original) make it sound as though BioWare the studio is assisting Maxis on the writing front, there’s a conflicting report to muddy the waters.

According to Destructoid, it isn’t so much that BioWare is helping Maxis as a whole, as it is that a member of the BioWare writing cabal has been placed at the head of the Maxis team charged with creating the game’s fiction. The writer in question is Malcolm Azania, who previously worked on Mass Effect 2 (the downloadable Kasumi mission, to be precise) as well as BioWare’s Facebook game Gift of the Yeti.

Azania is also reportedly an award-winning novelist for Del Ray/Ballantine, so it’s safe to say that whoever is actually working on the Darkspore story probably knows what they’re doing. We’ve reached out to Maxis to try and clear up the matter either way.

Update: It looks like it’s the latter. A Maxis rep told us: “The Darkspore team is working with Malcolm Azania for the writing/fiction in the game. Malcolm comes from the BioWare team and worked on the Mass Effect fiction. That’s the extent of it.”

(Gamespot, via Destructoid, Joystiq and CVG)

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