Bioware: “Coordinating” SWTOR was “like teaching elephants to do ballet”

Saturday, 21st January 2012 20:32 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The LA Times has posted a retrospective on Star Wars: The Old Republic, and in it, the piece revealed that quite a lot of work from many sectors went into creating the game. So much so, that Bioware co-founder Greg Zeschuck likened coordinating the efforts to “teaching elephants to do ballet.”

According to the piece, SWTOR’s artwork was outsourced to China, Estonia, and Russia; motion capture was filmed in LA and Vancouver; voice acting in English, French and German was recorded in London., New York and Paris; while quality assurance testing took place in Argentina, India and Romania.

Furthermore, the studio set up the game’s technical operations in Virginia and, as previously reported, the customer service center operates out of Galway.

For coordination purposes, there was and still is a shuttle which flies the Bioware Austin team to and from a EA’s headquarters in Redwood Shores, California as needed.

Elephants in tutus, indeed. We have a hard enough time coordinating our sock drawers around here – we couldn’t fathom trying to organize a project this massive.

Thanks Joystiq.



  1. deathgaze

    … soooo, is he suggesting that his development team moves like a herd of pachyderm? Not kind words for your dev team.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. John117

    Haha, a good example of too many chefs in the kitchen xP

    #2 3 years ago
  3. TheWulf

    Lovely. I hate management types who do this.

    “It isn’t my fault! If the game is substandard it’s all the fault of the people below me! It can never be my fault! I refuse to take responsibility!” *strokes pointy hair.*


    What happened to you, Bioware? You used to be cool.

    Did I miss something though? Is it ‘Be a jerkface to your current or prior coworkers!’ day today or something? Between this and Rolston…

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Kabby

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight

    “It isn’t my fault! If the game is substandard it’s all the fault of the people below me! It can never be my fault! I refuse to take responsibility!” *strokes pointy hair.*”

    Reading into the article too much. They had a team of 400 in various locations all focusing on the same game so yes that would be like teaching an elephant how to do ballet. There was no demeaning or being disrespectful to their team in this article. For someone who likes to write you sure do lack reading comprehension.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. deathgaze

    @5: Way to take it to the next level. Ugh, it was a joke. ;) QQ

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight


    Not at you at the person who I had quoted. I knew what you had said was sarcastic. Again reading comprehension.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Kalain


    Well done. You’ve read into something that isn’t there. The guy was saying that it was hard work keeping everything on track due to where all the pieces where being done. It was nothing to do with your comment at all.

    Reading comprehension is required….

    #8 3 years ago
  9. TheWulf


    A TOR/Bioware fan would say that.

    It says what it says, and it’s trying to project bad management onto other people. It’s not saying “I had trouble managing.” but it’s saying that the organisation of the company was the issue, or that people weren’t playing ball.

    It’s someone not standing up and taking responsibility for dropping the ball. This is clearly what’s happening. This wouldn’t be allowed anywhere else in the industry and most would decry it. Why should we say it’s okay? What gamers let pass by as okay irritates me, sometimes.

    The way it’s worded sounds like an attempt to slip out of responsibility by a man who sees a sinking ship.

    Oh, and I was originally just being facetious but there was an element of truth to it. If you’re going to say something like this then you should always add the byline “But part of that might have been my fault.” otherwise you’re just telling the world that you don’t have the balls to admit mistakes.

    It’s just base criticism.


    To insult the intelligence of a person you disagree with is to show a markedly low level of intelligence on the part of the person doing the insulting.

    I will declare my desire as well for TOR fans to stop so depravedly and obviously fapping at Bioware/EA, too. It’s incredibly transparent and it’s as embarrassing for me to have to reply to as it should be for you to have posted it.

    I will also say ‘Are you mad, brah?’ and leave it at that.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Phoenixblight

    “A TOR/Bioware fan would say that.”

    Right because you have had experience of 400 people all focus on different aspects of the same game in various locations. You know you seem to think you have knowledge about these things but you don’t. You are just another armchair critic.

    I have had experience of being a lead of 100 people in manufacturing factory and even with that it was very hard to move around because you have 100 people with various personalities, attitudes and skillsets all on working towards the same thing, pushing out Cisco servers. So yes I have slight knowledge about these things. With following the development of this game and it having a team as large as this it would be very large and slow moving. But whatever ad hominem. Because I am a “TOR/Bioware fan” that totally discredits me as if that is an actual attack. You want to whine and complain and act like you have knowledge about managing a team making a triple AAA MMo that is your business. But one line of quote about what the development was and you exaggerate it as if Ray is saying his dev team sucks. Good job on reading between the lines and putting words in Bioware’s mouth.

    #10 3 years ago

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