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EA’s Moore sings BioWare’s praises: studio has ‘done great’

Wednesday, 22nd August 2012 11:33 GMT By Dave Cook

Mass Effect 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Dragon Age 2 have amounted to what has been a ‘great’ 18 months in the partnership between BioWare and EA, COO Peter Moore has explained.

In a Eurogamer interview, Moore was asked for his view on the past 12-18 months of BioWare’s performance, “You say the last 12-18 months, I think of three things: I think of Star Wars: The Old Republic, I think of what Mass Effect 3 has done and all of the offshoots we’ve done of that, and then a little bit further back Dragon Age. So from that perspective I think the studio has done great.”

Moore is pleased with BioWare, despite fan backlash at the direction of Dragon Age 2, the falling player numbers on The Old Republic and the Mass Effect 3 ending fiasco.

Speaking of the thorny issue of Mass Effect 3′s ending, Moore explained, “It’s been interesting with the whole ending thing. It’s a fascinating debate. More power to gamers. They have the outlets now. I always say, people are passionate about movies, people really like music, people are into their TV shows.”

“Nobody in entertainment has more passion and a bigger megaphone than gamers. And to their credit they put their hands up. A lot of them said, we’re not sure about this ending in Mass Effect 3.”

“So the team at BioWare, again, to their credit, said, all right, we’re going to stop a few things right now, the team’s going to go back and provide some DLC, no charge, to provide more context around what went on there. We delivered that recently.”

What do you think about BioWare’s recent output? A good direction, or the wrong path? Let us know.

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16 Comments

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  1. Ercarret

    I think that Bioware, while not having done anything as drastic as “digging their own grave” (as some people seem to think), have proven that they are not infallible. DA2 was not a very good game. There were too many problems with it, felt too rushed. ME3 was a good game, but not a good ending to the trilogy. SWTOR was, I guess, not a good example of the future of subscription based MMOs. I haven’t played that, though, so I can only comment from what I’ve read in the news.

    Still, everyone has periods where they’re not at their very best. It’s unreasonable to expect anything else. The thing, I think, is to be able to bounce back quickly. Each of the Bioware big studios have released a game that didn’t really meet the Bioware quality criteria, and now, with their respective next game, is the time to prove that they’re better than that. If they can’t? That’s when the problems start.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Hunam

    They have gotten a bloody nose and their reputation has been tarnished, but they are still one of the better developers around. What EA need to do is let Bioware have the same sort of operating culture as Blizzard. The ability to sit and endlessly refine games to really ensure the best product. Bioware games will sell anyway, but they do need to be better to keep the fanbase rabid.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Froseidon

    In my opinion, Bioware is probably one of the, if not the best gaming companies out there. Sure, they have little problems in games (I.e – ME3 ending) but that doesn’t stop the gameplay being solid and well thought out. Up to that ending, it was a bloody great game. Too bad people rated the whole game off of the last 10 minutes. I am yet to try SW:TOR but my friend has and he said if the subscription was less or F2P, that game will sell but I personally think it got into decline too quickly to see a great bounce back, but that’s just me. As for DA2, I loved the gameplay, the characters and the conversations (bioware is one of few companies that still has a good sense of humour) but the map recycling was awful.

    That being said, I still feel Bioware is probably one of the most trustworthy companies out there by far, probably with Epic Games (The Gears games were fantastic) and probably Ubisoft. The games they make are also really good (despite the fact they’re holding a full hours worth of gameplay from Xbox and PC for AC3).

    #3 2 years ago
  4. absolutezero

    Bioware need to hire an animator with some sort of experience in making people move like actual humans. The creepy delayed ME animations just completely break the atmosphere.

    The last Bioware game I really enjoyed was DA : O. Im not all that much of a fan in general because most of the time what everyone else seems to think is exceptional writing I see as plodding and pedestrian.

    The actual game parts in recent games are hugely lacking aswell, for a third person shooter ME3 was shit. The respawning enemy waves in DA2 turned the game from an excercise in planning and execution into a war of attrition. Then theres Mage Hawk wandering about with a huge staff hovering a foot from his back.

    Romance is a great thing to put into an RPG but Jesus Christ did Shep have to fuck his way through the entire crew? A little wink and nudge and everyone falls at his/her feet. Why not just make a plot dependant relationship and form actual connections and loss from it? Right now its just a disgusting throw away set of conversations to get to a horrible robotic sex scene.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. viralshag

    I agree with everything #3 said.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. roadkill

    What Ercarret said.

    Also “the team’s going to go back and provide some DLC, no charge, to provide more context around what went on there” “going to”? Does that mean that we will get more free single-player DLC?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    When he says “done great” I’m pretty sure he means “been profitable”.

    If you ignore the artistic side of it, I’m sure they have.

    @4 It was hardly fucking. It was more like “Let me get naked and rock you… to sleep”. Bioware really only has those scenes in there so they can put it on the box, and maybe make a few frustrated guys feel like white knights in the process. But sex it ain’t.

    I’d welcome a game that let you fuck your way through your entire crew. But not that in that tragic, awkward molesty sense.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Cobra951

    The problem is that Bioware doesn’t exist anymore. They are an extension of EA’s will now. And EA’s main drive is making great money, not making great games. The magic has been shackled, if not outright snuffed.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Kabby

    Moore gives public praise. That’s Bioware to close soon then.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Froseidon

    @5 – <3 Thank you

    @7 – Yeah, they never even stated it was sex either, they said it was a romance. The scenes themselves do seem 'robotic', yeah, but at least the actual conversations weren't just "cheap one night stand" conversations, they did build up.

    @8 – It is a partnership as far as I know, so it could break off at anytime. I am really looking forward to DA3 now and I really hope they do it well. Also, games aren't the only things they do (ME Books, Comics, Anime to name a few).

    @9 – LOL, comment of the day to you, sir!

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    “It is a partnership as far as I know, so it could break off at anytime.”

    No, They can’t. Bioware is as much of EA as EA Sports.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DSB

    @10 It’s not a partnership.

    Ricitiello stepped down from EA in 2004, to found a private equity firm called Elevation Partners.

    In 2005, Elevation Partners funded a merger between Pandemic Studios and Bioware into a group called VG Holding Corp.

    Ricitiello becomes CEO of EA for the second time in 2007, and six months later EA buys VG Holding Corp (which is still Bioware and Pandemic).

    Two years later he kills Pandemic.

    Bioware are very much bought and paid for.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. TheWulf

    Bioware still have their moments. To be honest, the exit of Legion from the series has been considered to be one of the better RPG moments of recent history, and I’m inclined to agree. It was impressive. ME3 wasn’t the greatest game, and it didn’t incite the thinks and feels of ME2, but I can still see the people who developed ME2 in there.

    Ultimately I’m still hopeful, I guess. They just need some creative guidance and fresh blood. A new creative director and head writer could do the studio the world of good, if said writer was actually a decent one.

    But then, I do worry about Obsidian going down this route as well, because the people at the top right now (most notably Urquhart and Avellone) haven’t been doing great things for the company. That deal they made with Bethesda for New Vegas is ridiculous (the Metacritic score one), and Avellone is getting his way too much about being creative lead, but he’s not their most imaginative writer (there are many others who could hold that candle though, and I personally have a soft spot for Eric Fenstermaker), and that’s a problem because his lack of imagination hurts Obsidian. (He was responsible for leading the New Vegas DLC development, all of which was tremendously dull other than Old World Blues.)

    It just makes me wonder how many developers are going to be destroyed from the top-down. Troika had the same problem, as I recall. And it’s often business decisions rather than games that ruin them.

    What terrifies me is a world where only Bethesda has enough money to make RPGs on a notable scale. But that seems to be where we’re going.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Joe_Gamer

    As a customer I have to disagree with him, Prior to DA2 I had bought EVERY single game Bioware ever made. But after testing DA2 and later ME3 I’ve decided not to buy their games anymore. Simplistic gameplay, Day one DLC, REQUIRED multiplayer, shitty ending with monstrous plot holes and obnoxious damn god child, the footprints of rushed development stamped into every facet of the game. Yeah, the days of me buying Bioware games are long gone. So their recent shoddiness has cost them my business but I guess they picked up enough console kiddies that they don’t have to care about the customers who made them the success they are today.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Henry

    @6 Moore said the team WERE going to. And that free content was already delivered.
    He meant the Extended Cut DLC.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Henry

    >>“So the team at BioWare, again, to their credit, said, all right, we’re going to stop a few things right now, the team’s going to go back and provide some DLC, no charge, to provide more context around what went on there. We delivered that recently.”

    At first Bioware refused to change anything. That’s where the notorious “Artistic Integrity” came from.

    Then they changed their mind shortly (and coincidentally) after EA got the Worst Company in America 2012 Awards.

    And Extended Cut didn’t address all the ending’s problem. Moreover, it created some new one (Normandy lands and leaves safely when Harbinger was shooting at everything like hell)

    #16 2 years ago