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BioWare/Mythic Interview

Muzyka On EA's New BioWare/Mythic RPG Team-Up on Gamasutra converses with the BioWare co-founder about the news of their shotgun wedding with Mythic Studios. They probe for more clarity than the vague announcement about this provided, you can judge for yourself whether they succeeded:

Structurally, each of the organizations remains intact. They're working on the same projects they were working on before, I just have another studio that reports into me. It's not that BioWare or Mythic is changing; they're retaining their brands, their unique cultural identities, their projects they are working on. I'm really excited about what we're doing; we have great people at each location.

Rather, a new group is being formed that is more of a reporting structure of Rob Denton, the GM of Mythic; Richard [Vogel] and Gordon [Walton], who already report to me from [BioWare] Austin; Yannick [Roy], our studio director at BioWare Montreal, who already reports into me; and then BioWare Edmonton, and I already manage that studio myself.

It's a collaboration opportunity. Each of the groups continues to make the same thing in their [own locations]. But it's fuelling and enabling more communication, collaboration, best practice sharing, encouraging each other to play each others' games -- but no formal change per se in what anybody's doing. It's a recognition that there's a lot of synergy between them already. I'm going to make sure everyone at each location knows who the others are, and their comparable roles, and to make sure they talk.

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13. Re: Can You Say EA Online? Jun 28, 2009, 18:03 Jerykk
 
Cue the obligatory poster proclaiming anyone who thinks game makers don't want to make money is naive. The problem I have with that is that it ignores an important distinction. All companies are in it for the money, but there are companies that say, "Treating our customers well is the best way to maximize our cash flow and revenue streams", and then others (like in EA's case IMO) that say "Screw worrying about the customers; we've got shareholders to please, and enough sheeple are buying our crap anyway."

Agreed. It always amuses me when someone questions a company's ethics and someone else replies with "Get over it, it's just business." Sorry, just because it makes them money doesn't mean I have to agree with it. If somebody takes a shit on my car because someone paid them to, I'm not going to say "Oh, okay, it's cool. Go ahead, it's just business." As Prez stated, there are many ways to make money and the best ways don't involve screwing your customers.
 
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12. Re: Can You Say EA Online? Jun 28, 2009, 17:32 Prez
 
EA is all about greed. They don't care about their customers, employees or quality, all they want is money.

Cue the obligatory poster proclaiming anyone who thinks game makers don't want to make money is naive. The problem I have with that is that it ignores an important distinction. All companies are in it for the money, but there are companies that say, "Treating our customers well is the best way to maximize our cash flow and revenue streams", and then others (like in EA's case IMO) that say "Screw worrying about the customers; we've got shareholders to please, and enough sheeple are buying our crap anyway."
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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11. Can You Say EA Online? Jun 28, 2009, 14:56 Hanneth
 
*Marked Rant, read at your own peril*

It's classic EA, say you aren't going to change anything, then make some small changes and a few years later completely wipe out the brand.
Origin, Jane's Flight Simulators, Bullfrog are just some of the good quality names they've snuffed out.

Don't try to kid yourself that EA has changed, they've proven time and time again and are continuing to prove that they aren't interested in changing their ways. Just look at UO. Kingdom Reborn was the future of UO, they thew out an incomplete pile of crud, then didn't work on it for almost a year, now they are replacing it with the Stygian Abyss. Sure SA is based on the same code, but it's quite different and us subscribers that have been paying for all this have been getting nothing. Actually the UO3D client that existed before had more than SA and SA is moving towards what they already had with UO3D.

Then we have The Sims 3, where the day of release they already have all this "extra" content you can purchase. While the main game that was in stores had less content then The Sims 2 was released with.

EA is all about greed. They don't care about their customers, employees or quality, all they want is money.

This comment was edited on Jun 28, 2009, 14:57.
 
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10. Re: BioWare/Mythic Interview Jun 28, 2009, 09:45 Sempai
 
Both posts make complete sense to me Cutter.
I hope your wrong but..i dont think so..
 
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9. Re: BioWare/Mythic Interview Jun 28, 2009, 02:32 Cutter
 
Who knows, maybe they're trying to make something similar to Blizzard?

Power to them, but Blizzard is a homogenous entity that has been acquried by several publishers over the years. They're not the guys doing the acquring. And as far as heavyweights go, Bioware has nothing on Blizzard. That's not even talking about who's produced better games or what not, simply that Blizzard has the Midas touch and you fuck with that at your own peril. If the goose is laying golden eggs you just let it do it's thing. And while Bioware has had a lot of success, it's nowhere on the scale of Blizzard. They are the 800lb gorilla.

You hear of all these changes going on with Bioware, but have you heard - even remotely - anything like that with Blizzard? No. And you can't just make a compnay like Blizzard happen intentionally no mattter what your budget or talent. It's the eviornment and culture. Something that EA has a nasty habit of destroying even when they don't intend to, which isn't often.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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8. Re: BioWare/Mythic Interview Jun 28, 2009, 02:24 Cutter
 
I doubt they'd bother doing this unless they felt it was gonna do some good and improve both studios.

Are you fucking kidding me? EA leads the gaming world in slash and burn corporate acquisitions. While I was a mere cog in the machine, I did spend 2 - painfull years - at EA. EA are the Borg of the gaming world. They acquire a company and leave them alone for a year or two. Then they start "fixing" all the things that aren't broken. It's a slow insidious evil, much like the One Ring in LOTR. The more you're around it, and use it, the more corrupted you get. And pretty soon they're making all manner of "suggestions" about how to cut costs and be more efficient by walking over the corpses of your overworked and underpaid employees. The real talent gets shuffled out to maximize their P/E ratio for the stockholders and before long all you have left is schlock.

But how is possible that EA can be so huge and profitable if they're not producing superior products? We'll just look at MS, and they don't have even 1/4 of the issues that MS does.

How many good companies has EA driven into the ground? You can give me this jive about how they changed, but that's tantamount to saying as a corporation they're not slaves to the bottom line - which they are. It'll take a lot of years of seeing them actually do the right thing before anyone really familiar with their history even begins to believe that. And for all their PR they keep pushing out the door these days about how they're less intrusive is still BS. One singular example is Dragon Age. Forget even pushing the PC version back for a simultaneous launch, the honest previews so far are much less than stellar. They are in fact quite worrisome. That the game is considerably more about style than substance to appease the console crowds. Dragon Age is the "new shit" is it? Even journalists are saying hearing the sales pitch they're giving is making them a little sick. DA is Baldur's Gate spiritucal successor, but it's all blood, guts, gore, and sex. Yeah,ok. I'll be massively surprised if DA even lives up to half of BG.

While Bioware hasn't entirely let me down, they've definitely been slipping over the years when it comes to substance over style. And now that EA is really calling the shots? Well, I won't be surprised if DA is a dissapointment.

 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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7. Re: BioWare/Mythic Interview Jun 27, 2009, 17:53 Masa
 
They could've just cut all the fat from the interview and said "consolidation". Taking one divsion that makes MMOs (Mythic) and joining it another that makes SP RPGs (BioWare) makes sense since the two entities probably have a lot of overlapping interests anyway. Who knows, maybe they're trying to make something similar to Blizzard?  
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6. Re: BioWare/Mythic Interview Jun 27, 2009, 16:31 NKD
 
I doubt they'd bother doing this unless they felt it was gonna do some good and improve both studios.  
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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5. Re: BioWare/Mythic Interview Jun 27, 2009, 14:07 Sepharo
 
Now EA RPG can join EA Sports.

 
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4. Re: BioWare/Mythic Interview Jun 27, 2009, 13:30 Prez
 
they just added another layer of corporate bullshit, i.e. another layer of unnecessary management,

That's what I'm getting. I don't know for sure - I just read the interview like everyone else. But it seems like all this accomplishes is to add yet another cook to potentially spoil the broth, so to speak. When a division has the reputation and track record that Bioware does, is that really necessary or desirable?
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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3. Re: BioWare/Mythic Interview Jun 27, 2009, 13:20 Acleacius
 
Lol, they just added another layer of corporate bullshit, i.e. another layer of unnecessary management, IF everything is staying the same. Now if this is the first stage in consolidation, then this would make sense.

However as we all know ea has nothing but the best in mind past, present and future for all mankind. So, I guess we have that going for us.
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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2. Re: BioWare/Mythic Interview Jun 27, 2009, 12:25 Prez
 
The upshot is that Bioware has someone extra to answer to, is it not? That kind of worries me.  
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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1. Re: BioWare/Mythic Interview Jun 27, 2009, 12:12 Creston
 
Sounds okay, but there is such a thing as being stretched too thin. I have no idea how much Ray and his partner were still involved with Bioware games, but if they were, now having to manage two four? studios can't benefit their time.

Creston

This comment was edited on Jun 27, 2009, 13:15.
 
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