Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Doctors Have Left the Building: Bioware's Woes Continue

Bioware used to be the most promising developer in the industry. After being founded in 1995, it released a string of role playing game that shaped the genre for years to come. Baldur's Gate. Neverwinter Nights. Knights of the Old Republic. Jade Empire.

The world owes you a debt for this, Bioware.

Coming into this generation, things only looked brighter. Mass Effect received much acclaim. But then something happened that would change the company forever. EA.

Fucking EA.

Bioware was purchased by EA in 2007. Fans everywhere gasped in horror. The mega corporation had a reputation of luring hot young development houses, sucking their juices dry, and burying them in the back yard.

For awhile, it looked like we had nothing to worry about. Mass Effect 2 was even better than the first, and Dragon Age Origins managed to both satisfy old school RPG fans and attract new ones. But those games were in some stages of development before the acquisition (Dragon Age for years), we wouldn't really get to see if Bioware was being affected yet.

Then, Dragon Age II. This fucking game. I don't think I even need to explain in how many ways this game was a disappointment. Clearly not given enough time in the womb, this baby came out with only one eye and two dungeon interiors.

"The doctors say he has poorly developed characters and ludicrously respawning enemies!"

But that could be a fluke right? The company isn't in real trouble or anything. Next up, The Old Republic. Things looked promising for this game at first. Strong sales, strong reviews. But subscriptions tanked. Free to play was announced months after the game was released. And with a price tag rumored to be in the zillions, that's not good.

But their next game was another Mass Effect! There's no way that could be bad! And it wasn't.

Until the last 10 minutes.

The ending of Mass Effect 3, the final part of an amazing trilogy that had until then been a marvelously epic sci-fi masterpiece, boiled down to this (Spoilers!):

  • Pick color.
  • Retardation ensues.
It was such a fuckup, the company had to develop a "You thought that was the real ending? Haha got you. This is the ending that was totally planned all along" DLC. I don't know if I can really blame EA for that mistake however. It was all EA's fault though, so I guess yeah, I can.

Now, today, the founders of Bioware, the Doctors Ray Muzyka & Greg Zeschuk announce their departure from the company.

 I’ve reached an unexpected point in my life where I no longer have the passion that I once did for the company, for the games, and for the challenge of creation.- Greg Zeschuk

I don't think there can be any doubt at this point that Bioware is a sinking ship. It's digging a hole at gunpoint. I'll miss ya babe.


  1. A nicely written article that summed up my fears and thoughts.

    DA2 ruled, by the way.

  2. Gorilla With Toilet-Paper HolderSeptember 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    ^ Marked for trolling