We learn today that the leads from Bioware, Drs Muzyka and Zeschuk are leaving the gaming industry. I am personally saddened by the news as they brought the RPG game to the mainstream and came up with some amazing IPs.
Take a look at the wiki page. Shattered Steel, Baldur’s Gate, KOTOR, Planescape, Icewind Dale, Dragon Age and Mass Effect all stand well above their competitors at the time. Most of those are in the top 100 RPGs of all time too.
It isn’t so much a bad thing to try on a different pair of shoes after 20 years in the industry. I’m pretty sure this was planned when EA bought BioWare a few years back and with the non-competition clauses, they essentially had to wait out the requisite time.
That being said, the last 3 games that BW has sent out, all under the EA moniker I should add, came to massive fan backlash. Dragon Age 2 was a fairly universal disappointment when compared to DA1 – lacking the depth we were used to. Mass Effect 3 made headlines with a completely nonsensical ending that needed to be patched after fan outcry. It still sold like honey cakes though. Finally, TOR’s rather significant failure (which I could write for weeks about) brought a $200 million hole into EA’s pocket books.
I would love to have a few beers with these two gents, just to pick their brains about how games have evolved since they started and where they think they will end up. How they went for building games for themselves to building games for the masses.
My hat is off for two of the industry’s innovators. They will be missed.