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Author Topic: Dragon Age is looking good!  (Read 77208 times)
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Fellow
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« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2009, 02:42:44 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 04, 2009, 01:09:37 AM


Not sure how this changes it from being "PC lead"- the game has been targeted at PCs for pretty 80% or so of it's development. 

Definitely doesn't change it on a technical level. But as far as PC leading in release, which seemed to be the original intent, is pretty much bunk now.
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« Reply #41 on: February 04, 2009, 04:12:47 AM »

Quote from: Fellow on February 04, 2009, 02:42:44 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 04, 2009, 01:09:37 AM


Not sure how this changes it from being "PC lead"- the game has been targeted at PCs for pretty 80% or so of it's development. 

Definitely doesn't change it on a technical level. But as far as PC leading in release, which seemed to be the original intent, is pretty much bunk now.

If DA had been allowed to develop purely as a PC only title, as was the original announcement, then it would probably be something different then what it will be now.  We don't know at what point the decision was made to target a console audience, but the reality is that some choices were probably influenced by that decision.  I don't know that you can read the recent PC Gamer preview and not see a console influence in what they are doing.

That said, I'm pretty sure that if Bioware was still calling the shots the PC version would be released when it was done and not be delayed, even if a console port was intended for later.  That smells entirely like an EA decision.  And the real question is going to be what the future of the DA franchise will be, assuming it does well enough when released to justify a future.  How do things like user created content factor into the thinking when this is suddenly a franchise that has to do well on some platforms that do not necessarily support that kind of fanbase?

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« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2009, 04:27:46 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on February 04, 2009, 04:12:47 AM

That said, I'm pretty sure that if Bioware was still calling the shots the PC version would be released when it was done and not be delayed, even if a console port was intended for later.  That smells entirely like an EA decision.  And the real question is going to be what the future of the DA franchise will be, assuming it does well enough when released to justify a future.  How do things like user created content factor into the thinking when this is suddenly a franchise that has to do well on some platforms that do not necessarily support that kind of fanbase?

Have they discussed the modability much recently?  I know way back in the dark ages when it was first announced it was positioned as all of the great single player content of BG2 with all of the mod tools from NWN, but since it's official unveiling last summer it seems like most of the promise of user-created content has been vague "yeah, we have plans" but maybe I missed an important preview somewhere along the way.  My sense is that most of the "Bioware's successor to NWN" features have fallen by the wayside once reality set in that it was too ambitious by far. 
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« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2009, 04:41:18 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 04, 2009, 04:27:46 AM

Quote from: Sarkus on February 04, 2009, 04:12:47 AM

That said, I'm pretty sure that if Bioware was still calling the shots the PC version would be released when it was done and not be delayed, even if a console port was intended for later.  That smells entirely like an EA decision.  And the real question is going to be what the future of the DA franchise will be, assuming it does well enough when released to justify a future.  How do things like user created content factor into the thinking when this is suddenly a franchise that has to do well on some platforms that do not necessarily support that kind of fanbase?

Have they discussed the modability much recently?  I know way back in the dark ages when it was first announced it was positioned as all of the great single player content of BG2 with all of the mod tools from NWN, but since it's official unveiling last summer it seems like most of the promise of user-created content has been vague "yeah, we have plans" but maybe I missed an important preview somewhere along the way.  My sense is that most of the "Bioware's successor to NWN" features have fallen by the wayside once reality set in that it was too ambitious by far. 

It's still discussed on the official boards as if it's part of the package and noone from Bioware has disputed it, so if that's another shoe that will drop it hasn't happened yet.  There would still be a segment that wouldn't care much, of course.  Kind of like the dropping of multi-player only shaved off a percentage of potential users.

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« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2009, 03:13:27 PM »

I haven't read up on the game since a FANTASTIC preview back in one of the early issues of Gaming For Windows. If the game fits what that preview said it would be, I'll be happy. If it was scaled back from that original vision so it could be ported for consoles, I will be very unhappy.

I'm also quite disappointed with the delay. I was finally just started to let myself get excited for its impending release. As if we need yet another fracking big holiday season title release. icon_evil
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« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2009, 04:59:55 PM »

Sadly, the more I hear about Dragon Age the less interested I get.  And with this announcement you just know that the consolitis is lurking within DA like a chestburster, just waiting for an unsuspecting PC RPGer to come by before it explodes out and latches onto the poor gamer's face.
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« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2009, 05:08:16 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 04, 2009, 12:51:57 AM

As disappointing as the move is, it does make a lot of sense from the marketing angle- better to focus in the advertising in one two-three month period for all platforms instead of doing it now then turning around and doing it again at the end of the year.

But, yeah, I can't help but think this pretty much nixes any chance of ME2 hitting this holiday season.

Ok but if the shoe was reversed would they hold the console version while they finished up the pc one? 
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« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2009, 05:23:13 PM »

Quote from: morlac on February 04, 2009, 05:08:16 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 04, 2009, 12:51:57 AM

As disappointing as the move is, it does make a lot of sense from the marketing angle- better to focus in the advertising in one two-three month period for all platforms instead of doing it now then turning around and doing it again at the end of the year.

But, yeah, I can't help but think this pretty much nixes any chance of ME2 hitting this holiday season.

Ok but if the shoe was reversed would they hold the console version while they finished up the pc one? 

yeah, right  icon_lol
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« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2009, 06:12:02 PM »

Quote from: morlac on February 04, 2009, 05:08:16 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 04, 2009, 12:51:57 AM

As disappointing as the move is, it does make a lot of sense from the marketing angle- better to focus in the advertising in one two-three month period for all platforms instead of doing it now then turning around and doing it again at the end of the year.

But, yeah, I can't help but think this pretty much nixes any chance of ME2 hitting this holiday season.

Ok but if the shoe was reversed would they hold the console version while they finished up the pc one? 

No, of course not. 

Unfortunately this is the real world and consoles sell more.  That is just a fact.  EA wants to, heck needs to make money so they have to do what is going to make them the most money. 
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« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2009, 07:17:28 PM »

I would pay a million for anyone who could name a game that came out bug-free due to delays.

Other than that. This is a complex game and I think it is important that Bioware gets all the time they need
to polish as much as possible. NWN had a shaky release and I think they learned something from that.

It is not a long time to wait imho.
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« Reply #50 on: February 04, 2009, 09:56:06 PM »

Quote from: marcusjm on February 04, 2009, 07:17:28 PM

I would pay a million for anyone who could name a game that came out bug-free due to delays.

I don't recall any bugs (other than incredibly minor stuff) in Diablo 2 or Warcraft III (or their expansions) at launch.
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« Reply #51 on: February 04, 2009, 10:07:15 PM »

Actually I had crashes with Diablo long after but becides that Blizzard is in it's own category, they
never used the lame "delayed to polish" excuse but rather told from start that nothing gets released until they are done.

99.99% after a delay message there is a poster with the typical "Oh but now they get time to polish the game" message. Yeah right smile.

My experience most of time with this excuse is actually the opposite, MOO3 anyone?

Note though that this isn't the case this time. As far as I know this is all about the console consolidation and nothing else. The polishing time
is just a bonus smile.
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« Reply #52 on: February 04, 2009, 10:49:35 PM »

You guys are assuming that some polishing is going to happen as a result of the delay.  How much staff time and effort do you think they are going to devote to "polishing" once it reaches a complete state?  I doubt EA/Bioware are going to continue paying a full team for the next six months to work on the game once it is finished.  Instead those people are going to be reassigned and a minimal team, if anyone, will continue to work on the PC version.

There have been examples of games that have been finished but delayed for various external to development reasons.  I can't think of one case where what was released was more polished in any real sense.  There's a difference between games that are delayed specifically to polish and meet an internal standard (like Blizzard) and those where the dev team doesn't have control over the delay.

 
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« Reply #53 on: February 04, 2009, 11:23:01 PM »

Actually, with the results EA posted it looks like many will be polishing shoes rather than games if this continues.
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« Reply #54 on: February 05, 2009, 12:37:12 AM »

anyone remember Arcanum?  it was ready for a May release, then they decided to hold it back for a worldwide release and considering the state the game was in when released you could tell no polishing was done during the wait for localization to be done.
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« Reply #55 on: February 05, 2009, 12:42:07 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on February 05, 2009, 12:37:12 AM

anyone remember Arcanum?  it was ready for a May release, then they decided to hold it back for a worldwide release and considering the state the game was in when released you could tell no polishing was done during the wait for localization to be done.

Well, Bioware is significantly better funded than Troika.  So it probably depends on how much pressure there is from EA to get the Dragon Age team working on a new project. 
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« Reply #56 on: February 05, 2009, 12:52:36 AM »

It was a great game despite that slywink.

Btw. How tightly coupled are Bioware and EA? Does EA totally control Bioware now?

Just thinking how the huge losses could affect Bioware.
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« Reply #57 on: February 05, 2009, 02:59:36 AM »

Quote from: marcusjm on February 05, 2009, 12:52:36 AM

Btw. How tightly coupled are Bioware and EA? Does EA totally control Bioware now?

Yep.  Any degree of autonomy that Bioware has is solely at the discretion of EA.
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« Reply #58 on: February 05, 2009, 07:02:33 AM »

Zak Mckraken worked like a dream right from the beginning ;-)
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« Reply #59 on: February 05, 2009, 12:02:37 PM »

Quote from: Sarkus on February 04, 2009, 10:49:35 PM

You guys are assuming that some polishing is going to happen as a result of the delay.  How much staff time and effort do you think they are going to devote to "polishing" once it reaches a complete state?  I doubt EA/Bioware are going to continue paying a full team for the next six months to work on the game once it is finished.  Instead those people are going to be reassigned and a minimal team, if anyone, will continue to work on the PC version.

There have been examples of games that have been finished but delayed for various external to development reasons.  I can't think of one case where what was released was more polished in any real sense.  There's a difference between games that are delayed specifically to polish and meet an internal standard (like Blizzard) and those where the dev team doesn't have control over the delay.

Games are never finished, only abandoned.  Given that this is EA, and given EA's craptastic market performance over the past year, believing that the game is somehow finished and sitting on a shelf just out of your reach for "marketing reasons" is wishful thinking at its finest IMO.  If the game was done and ready for March, believe me, they would've shoved it out the door in March.  All these execs care about is getting their next bar of gold as fast as possible, and as developers, our life's work is spent in battle with that attitude.  Be thankful Bioware at least has the clout to get the time they need.  As for quality, games released after a delay might not magically be transformed into polished gems, but without having played them prior to the delay, how can anyone make a comparison?
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« Reply #60 on: February 05, 2009, 07:56:12 PM »

Quote from: kathode on February 05, 2009, 12:02:37 PM

Quote from: Sarkus on February 04, 2009, 10:49:35 PM

You guys are assuming that some polishing is going to happen as a result of the delay.  How much staff time and effort do you think they are going to devote to "polishing" once it reaches a complete state?  I doubt EA/Bioware are going to continue paying a full team for the next six months to work on the game once it is finished.  Instead those people are going to be reassigned and a minimal team, if anyone, will continue to work on the PC version.

There have been examples of games that have been finished but delayed for various external to development reasons.  I can't think of one case where what was released was more polished in any real sense.  There's a difference between games that are delayed specifically to polish and meet an internal standard (like Blizzard) and those where the dev team doesn't have control over the delay.

Games are never finished, only abandoned.  Given that this is EA, and given EA's craptastic market performance over the past year, believing that the game is somehow finished and sitting on a shelf just out of your reach for "marketing reasons" is wishful thinking at its finest IMO.  If the game was done and ready for March, believe me, they would've shoved it out the door in March.  All these execs care about is getting their next bar of gold as fast as possible, and as developers, our life's work is spent in battle with that attitude.  Be thankful Bioware at least has the clout to get the time they need.  As for quality, games released after a delay might not magically be transformed into polished gems, but without having played them prior to the delay, how can anyone make a comparison?

Given comments by EA's CEO that the game is being delayed for marketing reasons so they can release the PC version at the same time as the console versions, it's not really a matter of speculation.  Of course Bioware's PR guys are going to spin it as "time for extra polish," but they were giving every indication prior that they expected to ship in the next few months.  So that's a delay over their own intentions and beliefs.  I also don't think you can discount the possibility that this move was influenced by the status of Mass Effect 2, which is now an early 2010 release.  EA needed a big holiday title and Dragon Age fit the bill.

And there have been games that have been delayed that very clearly weren't touched.  For example, Arcanum, which was leaked out and widely played during its delay was almost the exact same game as what legit buyers purchased months later.  Not to mention that Troika admitted they didn't touch it during the delay.

The only advantage to the delay might be that the team won't be forced to finish it in "crunch mode." 
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« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2009, 08:07:10 PM »

Quote from: Sarkus on February 05, 2009, 07:56:12 PM

I also don't think you can discount the possibility that this move was influenced by the status of Mass Effect 2, which is now an early 2010 release.  EA needed a big holiday title and Dragon Age fit the bill.

Actually I think you *can* discount that- the console version of Dragon Age has been pegged for this holiday season since at least last summer.  Presuming that ME2 is once again console-lead (and no reason not to think that) then they would have interfered all along. 
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« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2009, 09:13:25 PM »

Quote from: Sarkus on February 05, 2009, 07:56:12 PM

Given comments by EA's CEO that the game is being delayed for marketing reasons so they can release the PC version at the same time as the console versions, it's not really a matter of speculation.

You expect the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to announce that one of their major games is being delayed because it's not ready during an earnings conference call where he's also announcing a HUGE loss and an 1100-headcount reduction?  He would've loved nothing more than to say "but don't worry because we're shoving this Dragon Age puppy right out the door and that sound you hear is the cash register ringing!"  You will never hear negative qualitative comments about an upcoming product during an earnings call.

Arcanum is not a good comparison.  All due respect in the world to that game, but you're comparing a first game from a tiny start-up 3rd party developer with a star product from one of the biggest developers in the world owned by the biggest publisher in the world.  Troika was dependent on 3rd parties for meeting basic payroll.  Bioware is going to collect paychecks regardless.  Forget the holiday season.  What does EA have for this quarter?  If it was ready now, it would be out now.  Then you'd see the console versions for Christmas packaged in with some sort of thrown-together expansion pushed through by a ramrod with an EA logo on the end.  I don't believe for one second that there is a game sitting on the shelf gathering dust at EA right now.
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« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2009, 10:02:19 PM »

Well, I was expecting Dragon Age to be delayed for some reason. It just felt that way.

I am more suprised about Godfather II though. Every preview seemed to indicate that it was just about finished.
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« Reply #64 on: February 06, 2009, 12:39:10 AM »

Quote from: kathode on February 05, 2009, 09:13:25 PM

Quote from: Sarkus on February 05, 2009, 07:56:12 PM

Given comments by EA's CEO that the game is being delayed for marketing reasons so they can release the PC version at the same time as the console versions, it's not really a matter of speculation.

You expect the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to announce that one of their major games is being delayed because it's not ready during an earnings conference call where he's also announcing a HUGE loss and an 1100-headcount reduction?  He would've loved nothing more than to say "but don't worry because we're shoving this Dragon Age puppy right out the door and that sound you hear is the cash register ringing!"  You will never hear negative qualitative comments about an upcoming product during an earnings call.

Arcanum is not a good comparison.  All due respect in the world to that game, but you're comparing a first game from a tiny start-up 3rd party developer with a star product from one of the biggest developers in the world owned by the biggest publisher in the world.  Troika was dependent on 3rd parties for meeting basic payroll.  Bioware is going to collect paychecks regardless.  Forget the holiday season.  What does EA have for this quarter?  If it was ready now, it would be out now.  Then you'd see the console versions for Christmas packaged in with some sort of thrown-together expansion pushed through by a ramrod with an EA logo on the end.  I don't believe for one second that there is a game sitting on the shelf gathering dust at EA right now.

Nobody is saying DA:O is done right now or even that it would have shipped by the end of March to meet current quarter deadlines.  However, there is plenty of evidence from comments made by people at Bioware on their official message boards that they are now changing plans in terms of how they will handle the longer time before release.  You don't change plans unless you have already made plans that have to be changed.  And these are the people who are on the ground and know where the game is at.  You don't give PC Gamer a big hands on where they actually play part of the game unless you are close to release.  You don't sell a tie-in novel written by the game's main writer and schedule it for release in March unless you intend to release relatively close to that date.   You don't heavily promote an appearance at the NY comic convention as having "playable" DA:O if the game needs to be delayed because it isn't going to be complete anytime soon.  DA:O might not have made a "Spring" release, but it was very likely still on track to be released in the first half of this year.

Meanwhile there are a million good business reasons to delay the PC title of something you now consider to be a multi-platform potential franchise.  Shared marketing being an obvious example.  And as bad as EA's situation is right now, they are hardly about to collapse and so desperate that they must push things out the door as soon as they can.  We aren't talking about Interplay in their last years quite yet. 
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« Reply #65 on: February 06, 2009, 01:08:09 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on February 06, 2009, 12:39:10 AM

Meanwhile there are a million good business reasons to delay the PC title of something you now consider to be a multi-platform potential franchise.  Shared marketing being an obvious example.  And as bad as EA's situation is right now, they are hardly about to collapse and so desperate that they must push things out the door as soon as they can.  We aren't talking about Interplay in their last years quite yet. 

Yes, but aren't there also a few million reasons to release the PC version first?  As in the developers keeping their good faith word to support PC gamers, but more importantly, getting a good portion of losers like me to buy BOTH versions lol.  Why not pick up like 500,000 PC sales NOW, and maybe get another 20-30% of die hards to buy another copy of it later by calling it Console Uber Edition or adding some trivial content or whatnot...

Anyway, in my sorrow over no DA:O I went and picked up NWN: Diamond.  I never played any of the expansions which seem to have got great reviews.  I'm going to try playing one of them on my netbook smile
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« Reply #66 on: February 06, 2009, 05:13:39 AM »

Quote from: rittchard on February 06, 2009, 01:08:09 AM

Yes, but aren't there also a few million reasons to release the PC version first?  As in the developers keeping their good faith word to support PC gamers, but more importantly, getting a good portion of losers like me to buy BOTH versions lol.  Why not pick up like 500,000 PC sales NOW, and maybe get another 20-30% of die hards to buy another copy of it later by calling it Console Uber Edition or adding some trivial content or whatnot...

yeah, if the PC version had come out like planned I may have also grabbed the 360 version to show support and enjoy any new bells and whistles it might have, but with all versions coming out closer or ay the same time I'll be grabbing only the PC version.  I plan on doing this with the Witcher version coming to the 360, and bought both versions of ME for the same reasons.
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« Reply #67 on: February 06, 2009, 01:54:15 PM »

I seriously doubt EA is losing *that* many sales from people who would have bought both versions. 
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« Reply #68 on: February 06, 2009, 03:45:21 PM »

Quote from: Sarkus on February 06, 2009, 12:39:10 AM

Nobody is saying DA:O is done right now or even that it would have shipped by the end of March to meet current quarter deadlines.  However, there is plenty of evidence from comments made by people at Bioware on their official message boards that they are now changing plans in terms of how they will handle the longer time before release.  You don't change plans unless you have already made plans that have to be changed.  And these are the people who are on the ground and know where the game is at.  You don't give PC Gamer a big hands on where they actually play part of the game unless you are close to release.  You don't sell a tie-in novel written by the game's main writer and schedule it for release in March unless you intend to release relatively close to that date.   You don't heavily promote an appearance at the NY comic convention as having "playable" DA:O if the game needs to be delayed because it isn't going to be complete anytime soon.  DA:O might not have made a "Spring" release, but it was very likely still on track to be released in the first half of this year.

I agree that everything from a perspective outside of development was geared toward an early release this year.  Marketing will always push forward until the bitter end.  But having a playable version doesn't say much about the potential for release unfortunately.  There's a limit to how much content people can access in whatever time they have, and the state of that layer of content only speaks tangentially to the state of the game as a whole.

To be clear, I don't think the game is in trouble or some sort of disaster behind the scenes or anything like that.  I just think they looked at it and determined it needed more time in the oven.  And that's very likely due to Bioware having very high standards, and good for them.  My belief is simply that if EA felt it could reasonably release it now and start racking up the sales, they would.  For me, Mercs 2 is a very tangible example of this behavior.
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« Reply #69 on: February 06, 2009, 07:08:04 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 06, 2009, 01:54:15 PM

I seriously doubt EA is losing *that* many sales from people who would have bought both versions. 

Probably not, but like CK I'm likely to only buy the PC version (cheaper) version now.  So even if it were a small % of people, say 50,000 x $60 (Xbox version) that's still a cool $3M.  Maybe it's nothing for EA, I dunno.
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« Reply #70 on: February 06, 2009, 07:10:54 PM »

I think even 50k is way overestimating the number of people who would buy two versions if the release was staggered by six months but won't now that it's simultaneous.  Many PC games are lucky to sell even 100k in a month these days. 
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« Reply #71 on: February 08, 2009, 09:43:43 PM »

Obviously this is a pointless debate as now we'll never know - it clearly would have depended on just how good the game was and if adding the Live component and possibly achievements etc would have made it an attractive dual buy down the road.

Still, given that we are talking about Bioware here, one of the most respected PC developers still around, I think the numbers may be more substantial than you think.  They have three 2 million sellers (BG, BG2 and NWN) as well as KOTOR, Mass Effect, etc.  They are a big name these days and I could easily see them selling 500k to a million in the first 6 months. 
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« Reply #72 on: February 09, 2009, 06:08:51 PM »

Today's PA post says Tycho played it at the New York Con they're at and it was fantastic, so...
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« Reply #73 on: February 10, 2009, 04:42:28 AM »

I stumbled while Googling into a Photobucket album full of screen captures from Comic Con, Check it out.. Hmmm.... OK it's just pictures of skills and spells description screens. OK not so exciting...  icon_redface:

Dragon Age Origins at Comic Con
http://s697.photobucket.com/albums/vv333/flamingchopstick/Dragon%20Age%20Origins%20at%20Comic%20Con

And maybe someone posted this in another thread, but here's the Gametrailers video of the dev walkthrough at the show:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/45248.html (about 3:54 long, it's PC version)

I've not been paying attention really. I appreciate the quality of Bioware's stuff but I never got into any of their RPG classics for whatever reasons, even though I did buy BG, NWN, Mass Effect. Maybe 4th time's the charm?  icon_razz
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« Reply #74 on: February 10, 2009, 06:53:47 AM »

I'm liking what I'm seeing in just those ability descriptions.  Makes me think there will be a lot more depth to this than their previous console centric RPGs.

Well, that and those videos they showed a while back with the various conversation choices and how different backgrounds, races, and classes change things.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 07:02:17 AM by Turtle » Logged
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« Reply #75 on: February 10, 2009, 03:23:20 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 10, 2009, 04:42:28 AM

I've not been paying attention really. I appreciate the quality of Bioware's stuff but I never got into any of their RPG classics for whatever reasons, even though I did buy BG, NWN, Mass Effect. Maybe 4th time's the charm?  icon_razz

if you haven't tried it you should at least try Jade Empire.
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« Reply #76 on: February 12, 2009, 06:58:29 PM »

Just read some of the PC Gamer article in this month's issue.   Game sounds so good it makes me want to cry.  Really sounds like they've taken some essence of "Song of Ice and Fire" and pushed it into the game, at least for the origins stories. 

I hate game delays.
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« Reply #77 on: March 01, 2009, 01:45:23 AM »

some new screenshots.  this game is looking HOT.
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« Reply #78 on: March 01, 2009, 02:07:42 AM »

Its Baldur's Gate 2009. Which is good. I hope it has a character that even comes close to Minsc though.
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« Reply #79 on: March 01, 2009, 04:05:35 AM »

When I first glanced at those images, I immediately took note of the 4th one (with the close up of the veggiegal) and thought to myself "What the hell? What's a token male JRPG protagonist doing in this game?"

Yeah...
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