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Author Topic: EA To Purchase Bioware/Pandemic!  (Read 5355 times)
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Azhag
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« Reply #40 on: October 12, 2007, 12:26:26 AM »

But look at the rest of those companies... all of them used to be the most innovative and interesting companies... now most of their IPs have been discontinued
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« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2007, 12:58:24 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 11, 2007, 08:53:32 PM

The flip side is does their contract force Bioware to make ME sequels?  Considering they own the IP I doubt it.

So if you're EA and you own Bioware but MS is contracted to publish any ME sequels if they are made, do you let one of your developers devote a huge chunk of their resources for the next half decade working on a game published by a rival, or do you just not let them do the sequels in the first place? 

I'm no fan of this deal, but why do so many people view EA as a rival to Microsoft?  I'm sure EA would prefer to publish ME sequels themselves, but if Bioware has a contract in place then I'm sure EA will live with it.  Besides, based on comments made by Microsoft and the Bungie deal, it's very clear that Microsoft is moving away from game publishing anyway.

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« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2007, 01:02:26 AM »

This is not fitting into my hopes and dreams of someone convincing Wizards of the Coast to pry the Dungeons and Dragon's IP out of Atari's "Close enough is good enough to sell to the fanboys. Let them  gorge on our buggy dung" filthy hands.

Especially since EA will need a miracle to ever have an install base of games in my house.
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« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2007, 01:11:22 AM »

Not a complete surprise to me, although like others I wish this wasn't happening. There's a few reasons why I think Bioware may have decided to join forces:

1. The rising Canadian dollar, now about on par with US dollar, means that the US funds that have been financing game development up here in the Great White North are starting to dry up. Consolidating with EA means that Bioware will now have access to funds that would have slowly eroded away.

2. Bleed off of human talent from the Edmonton video game industry, which has been going on for a while. Workers from Vancouver and other Canadian cities that relocated to Edmonton have slowly been moving back home. The bonus for Bioware is that they will now be able to utilize space in EA Canada's Vancouver location and Burnaby factory to house their own teams. Unfortunately this will probably have negative impact on some of Bioware games, as satellite teams haven't exactly had a great track record to date.
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« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2007, 01:25:09 AM »

I also have to wonder how the rumored DLC for Mass Effect is going to handled (if at all).

Brian
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« Reply #45 on: October 12, 2007, 01:47:39 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 11, 2007, 09:35:51 PM

Quote from: Jumangi on October 11, 2007, 09:05:39 PM

They could have a deal like Microsoft does with Epic for Gear of War. Epic owns the IP but MS had exclusive publish rights for the game and does for one sequel.

Right but Epic doesn't publish their own games.  Would EA let Bioware spend 2-3 years on something that MS would publish?

Would EA force out a game and potentially screw up a potentially big franchise? People may want to jump on EA but they arn't a stupid company. They have shown with stuff like Spore they are willing to wait and give a game time if they feel its worth it.

While I personally don't like it either I will give it time before starting to play the death knell of Bioware.
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« Reply #46 on: October 12, 2007, 02:07:17 AM »

Quote from: kathode on October 11, 2007, 09:56:45 PM

Hmm, something someone just pointed out that might be considered good by some folks is that this opens the door for a Bioware-developed Ultima game, since EA owns the rights.  I'd be down for that!  I know a single-player Ultima game was started at another company a few years ago (no, not here) but got canned.  Could be interesting if they decide to revive it.  Of course I think Bioware is pretty full on projects between the ME trilogy, Dragon Age, and the, ugh, Sonic DS game.  Could we see Dragon Age repositioned as an Ultima title?  I doubt it, but wouldn't be totally surprised.

If they did that I could tell you the story, you are the Avatar and you have Amnesia but don't know it and can't remember how ultra powerful you are, add in some random plot twists, a love interest or two and it pretty much ends up with the same plot as every other Bioware title.

I'm not a huge Bioware fan, but it did seem like they were finally getting past relying so much on "their formula" with Mass Effect, and hopefully the EA buyout doesn't put them back in to formulaic story mode again.
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« Reply #47 on: October 12, 2007, 02:07:31 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on October 12, 2007, 12:58:24 AM

[I'm no fan of this deal, but why do so many people view EA as a rival to Microsoft?  I'm sure EA would prefer to publish ME sequels themselves, but if Bioware has a contract in place then I'm sure EA will live with it.  Besides, based on comments made by Microsoft and the Bungie deal, it's very clear that Microsoft is moving away from game publishing anyway.

ME 2&3 are likely to take another five years, if not longer, to see market.  Why would EA want to devote significant resources of a developer they just spent half a billion dollars for a game that they don't publish? 

However, I'm guessing that MS will likely let Bioware out of any first look contract on the provision that ME stay 360 exclusive. 

Also, I don't know where you get the idea that MS wants to get out of game publishing.  They may be moving away from using first parties but that doesn't preclude second party relationships. 

Quote from: Jumangi on October 12, 2007, 01:47:39 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 11, 2007, 09:35:51 PM

Quote from: Jumangi on October 11, 2007, 09:05:39 PM

They could have a deal like Microsoft does with Epic for Gear of War. Epic owns the IP but MS had exclusive publish rights for the game and does for one sequel.

Right but Epic doesn't publish their own games.  Would EA let Bioware spend 2-3 years on something that MS would publish?

Would EA force out a game and potentially screw up a potentially big franchise? People may want to jump on EA but they arn't a stupid company. They have shown with stuff like Spore they are willing to wait and give a game time if they feel its worth it.

Who said anything about forcing a game out?  The question is about whether ME 2&3 are developed at all.  EA may have other priorities for Bioware other than working on a franchise with financial ties to another publisher. 

This isn't like 2K buying Irrational where there was already a pre-existing publishing relationship that implied that nothing in the near future would change.  Bioware is just completing one game for MGS, is working on another game for Sega, and while Dragon Age was without publisher, it's hardcore, PC only focus is a mismatch with the vast majority of what EA publishes.  I'd say that all bets are off on whether Bioware continues on their current trajectory.  I think what Kathode said makes a lot of sense and I wouldn't be surprised if in six months Dragon Age is rebranded with the Ultima name, a new console friendly focus, and is announced to be coming to the PC, 360, PS3, DS, and Wii in different incarnations.

Again, I have nothing personally against EA, but I think that there general business strategy doesn't exactly fit with Bioware.  EA is all about diversifying their properties on as many platforms as possible and getting their franchises out the door on a near annual basis. 

How does a corporate culture that pulls the plug on their online gaming servers after a year and puts a higher priority on getting annual releases out than patching existing games mesh with a company that almost single-handedly nurtured and supported an incredible online community for five years?  Would EA have allowed Bioware to support the NWN community to such an extent?  I'm dubious. 
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« Reply #48 on: October 12, 2007, 02:14:09 AM »

Well there is this conference call: http://kotaku.com/gaming/liveblogging/eas-bioware-pandemic-conference-call-309944.php

Ea specifically states that future Mass Effect titles plays into their plans with the studio, Ea now owns the Mass Effect IP and can do whatever the hell they want with it. So we shall see what happens. It will be interesting to see what the Microsoft Games Studios publishing deal with Bioware has in it regarding something like this.
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« Reply #49 on: October 12, 2007, 02:16:23 AM »

Oh yeah- stolen from QT3:  A Reuters article on the purchase stated:

Quote
EA plans to release four or five games a year from the studios in each of the 2009-2011 fiscal years.

So that's at least two to three games a year from each.  Bioware has been lucky to get out a game year, if that.  Pandemic is a bit more productive. 
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« Reply #50 on: October 12, 2007, 02:39:21 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 12, 2007, 02:16:23 AM

Oh yeah- stolen from QT3:  A Reuters article on the purchase stated:

Quote
EA plans to release four or five games a year from the studios in each of the 2009-2011 fiscal years.

So that's at least two to three games a year from each.  Bioware has been lucky to get out a game year, if that.  Pandemic is a bit more productive. 

EA may be planning to increase the size of the studios in order to make that possible.
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« Reply #51 on: October 12, 2007, 02:41:44 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 12, 2007, 02:16:23 AM

Oh yeah- stolen from QT3:  A Reuters article on the purchase stated:

Quote
EA plans to release four or five games a year from the studios in each of the 2009-2011 fiscal years.

So that's at least two to three games a year from each.  Bioware has been lucky to get out a game year, if that.  Pandemic is a bit more productive. 

That is terrible. frown

This whole thing sucks. EA has not been kind to the hardcore gamer as of late.
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« Reply #52 on: October 12, 2007, 03:38:22 AM »

Quote from: Tebunker on October 12, 2007, 02:14:09 AM

Well there is this conference call: http://kotaku.com/gaming/liveblogging/eas-bioware-pandemic-conference-call-309944.php

Ea specifically states that future Mass Effect titles plays into their plans with the studio, Ea now owns the Mass Effect IP and can do whatever the hell they want with it. So we shall see what happens. It will be interesting to see what the Microsoft Games Studios publishing deal with Bioware has in it regarding something like this.

yeah, looks like EA would be publishing ME 2 & 3, if they get made and EA doesn't decide the previous version didn't sell enough to warrant a sequel.   This whole deal is annoying enough that I may hold off on ME until I'm definite the trilogy will be completed.
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« Reply #53 on: October 12, 2007, 03:44:04 AM »

Quote from: Mattc0m on October 12, 2007, 02:41:44 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 12, 2007, 02:16:23 AM

Oh yeah- stolen from QT3:  A Reuters article on the purchase stated:

Quote
EA plans to release four or five games a year from the studios in each of the 2009-2011 fiscal years.

So that's at least two to three games a year from each.  Bioware has been lucky to get out a game year, if that.  Pandemic is a bit more productive. 

That is terrible. frown

This whole thing sucks. EA has not been kind to the hardcore gamer as of late.

it may not be too horrible on that part- Bioware has Dragon Age, the untitled MMO and the Sonic RPG already in the pipleline for those years already.  of course the question is will EA let Bioware polish their games like they like to before release.  I also wonder what this means for any future Bioware participation in the Knights of the Old Republic series....
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« Reply #54 on: October 12, 2007, 03:54:16 AM »

I feel sorry for the families of all the Bioware and Pandemic developers.
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« Reply #55 on: October 12, 2007, 05:07:29 AM »

Oh wow, this came out of the left field for me. What a bummer. I've purchased all the Bioware games, and haven't regretted a single one of them. Wow. Not a very happy camper at all about this.
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« Reply #56 on: October 12, 2007, 09:22:07 AM »

There's an interview with a couple of the heads of Pandemic over at Gamasutra, but of course it's full of a lot of company-building BS and rhetoric.  The real outcome of this won't really be known for a couple years, I would think.  I'm certainly not seeing it as a positive thing, though. 
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« Reply #57 on: October 12, 2007, 12:41:10 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on October 11, 2007, 09:43:12 PM

Well since everyone is doing real commentary I will just say that I think this sucks fucking ass shit.

Out of everything I've read in this thread - this is the one sentence I most agree with.

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« Reply #58 on: October 12, 2007, 12:46:11 PM »

Gaming is dying and EA is killing it.

Is anyone else simply tired of all this shit or is it just me?

Now we will have Bioware games with sliders that don't work and comeback logic up the ass.  But Devil will like it.  icon_wink
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« Reply #59 on: October 12, 2007, 01:59:51 PM »

Quote from: Starshifter on October 12, 2007, 12:46:11 PM

Now we will have Bioware games with sliders that don't work and comeback logic up the ass.  But Devil will like it.  icon_wink

I lol'd

So, Farscry, are we still considering loosening our EA boycott?  icon_twisted
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« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2007, 03:05:49 PM »

so, whenever we fire up a Bioware game are we going to get:

'E....A.... RPG.  It's in the character!'
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« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2007, 03:09:30 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on October 12, 2007, 03:05:49 PM

so, whenever we fire up a Bioware game are we going to get:

'E....A.... RPG.  It's in the character!'

Funny as hell to read, but I hate you for putting that kind of thought into my head.  icon_twisted crybaby
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« Reply #62 on: October 12, 2007, 03:13:28 PM »

Quote
Now we will have Bioware games with sliders that don't work and comeback logic up the ass.  But Devil will like it.


Do I really need to mention Bullet Witch again?

You're right, I should probably throw a blanket over an entire company and judge them on their past, never giving them a second look just because of something that may have happened years ago that I didn't like.

I, on the other hand, take games on an individual basis. Just because something sucked in the past, doesn't mean it sucks in the present, or will in the future.

I keep an open mind!

More to your, lousy, point (yeah, I said lousy).

NHL 2Kx WAS the best hockey game. It no longer is.

See! Things can change!

Stop living in the past, people...let it go!

 Tongue
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« Reply #63 on: October 12, 2007, 04:24:15 PM »

Eventually, we're just gonna have 5 or 6  game studios. Microsoft's, Sony's, Nintendo's, EA, Epic, and SquareEnix, with Bethesda, 2K, et al, eventually getting swallowed up by the ones I just listed. I just hate buyouts and mergers, rarely if ever does anything positive occur with them, as far as the consumer goes. I seriously doubt this improves the quality of anything coming out of Ea/Bioware's development houses.
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« Reply #64 on: October 12, 2007, 05:42:48 PM »

Quote from: fyedaddy
Quote from: Starshifter
Now we will have Bioware games with sliders that don't work and comeback logic up the ass.  But Devil will like it.  icon_wink

I lol'd

So, Farscry, are we still considering loosening our EA boycott?  icon_twisted

I thought we gave up on the boycotts a month ago or so when it became obvious that it makes no difference.

Quote from: Starshifter
Gaming is dying and EA is killing it.

Wait, I'm getting confused now, I thought it was Nintendo killing gaming with the Wii?
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« Reply #65 on: October 12, 2007, 05:50:28 PM »

I think it's still Myst that's killing gaming.
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« Reply #66 on: October 12, 2007, 06:02:14 PM »

Quote from: Ridah on October 12, 2007, 02:39:21 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 12, 2007, 02:16:23 AM

Oh yeah- stolen from QT3:  A Reuters article on the purchase stated:

Quote
EA plans to release four or five games a year from the studios in each of the 2009-2011 fiscal years.

So that's at least two to three games a year from each.  Bioware has been lucky to get out a game year, if that.  Pandemic is a bit more productive. 

EA may be planning to increase the size of the studios in order to make that possible.
More staff doesn't equal quicker production.  In many cases it results in the opposite.
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« Reply #67 on: October 12, 2007, 06:12:29 PM »

Quote
everybody likes more money, don't you know that?
not when it entails given up my independence.  I would rather make 100k and be my own boss, then make 300k and have to take orders from an idiot.

Bioware had to be cash poor or something, or maybe just stupid and naive.  Now they just got themselves a bunch of idiots from corporate poking their noses into things they have no clue about, making suggestions that make no sense.

Its like an artist being hired by an accounting firm.  The art is never helped by accountants butting into the artist studio and saying, " you know what would be cool"  and screaming  " hurry up".
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« Reply #68 on: October 12, 2007, 06:16:47 PM »

Quote from: TC Weidner on October 12, 2007, 06:12:29 PM

Quote
everybody likes more money, don't you know that?
not when it entails given up my independence.  I would rather make 100k and be my own boss, then make 300k and have to take orders from an idiot.

Bioware had to be cash poor or something, or maybe just stupid and naive.  Now they just got themselves a bunch of idiots from corporate poking their noses into things they have no clue about, making suggestions that make no sense.

The seeds for this were probably planted several years ago when they were purchased by Elevation Partners.  Under that arrangement I'm not sure that they even had much say in this EA buyout.  If EP wanted to sell them then they could sell them. 
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« Reply #69 on: October 12, 2007, 06:17:35 PM »

i am still crying about this,i really hoped it was a bad dream


anyway,i just found this

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=173602

Quote
BioWare has said it currently has no plans to bring Mass Effect to PS3 in the wake of news hitting on EA snapping up the developer.

"Our focus is pure and simple; it's to deliver the best game possible for our fans with Mass Effect, and that's an Xbox 360 exclusive. Microsoft's a great partner... and they've really helped build the value of the product and we're proud to work with them", BioWare's Ray Muzyka has told GameDaily Biz.

It emerged in the early hours of this morning that EA has bought both BioWare and Pandemic Studios. The news left us gob-smacked.


Speaking further about Mass Effect, BioWare's Greg Zeschuk reaffirmed that it'll be a trilogy, reminding the world that the developer's been on the record in the past as saying it wants the three games to be on Xbox 360.

However, while the developer says there's currently no plan to pursue Mass Effect on PS3, Zeschuk added that BioWare "can't predict the future".

Talking generally about the buyout, Ray Muzyka said, "We're going to continue to drive the craft that you've come to expect from BioWare's games, and we're going to continue to innovate - each game better than the last."

[Source: Game Daily Biz]
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« Reply #70 on: October 12, 2007, 06:21:35 PM »

That's the thing- Bioware's plans don't matter anymore.  They are at EA's beck and call now and EA gets whatever it wants.  ME1 may not be able to appear on another platform because it's being published by MGS, but if EA wants ME2&3 on multiple platforms then Bioware doesn't get to veto that decision. EA holds all of the power.   
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« Reply #71 on: October 12, 2007, 06:26:42 PM »

if it did go to other platforms,i wouldnt be to miffed as long as EA havent ruined anything of the game development/story...i will still buy them all for 360,because thats my machine of choice(my favourite of the 3),and also EA games on the PS3 have been iffy anyway

i am also worried about Pandemic,kinda glad that they arent making star wars battlefront 3 now...EA would kill that...hmm,hang on a minute.....do EA own Free Radical?
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« Reply #72 on: October 12, 2007, 06:29:25 PM »

EA definitely doesn't own Free Radical since they are developing Haze for Ubisoft. 
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« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2007, 06:32:08 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 12, 2007, 06:29:25 PM

EA definitely doesn't own Free Radical since they are developing Haze for Ubisoft. 

good thanks Kev,wasnt too sure,i remember EA having some say on timesplitters 3 i think...i just want Free Radical to bring out some SW:battlefront 3 info now
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« Reply #74 on: October 12, 2007, 06:34:15 PM »


Quote from: Kevin Grey
That's the thing- Bioware's plans don't matter anymore.  They are at EA's beck and call now and EA gets whatever it wants.  ME1 may not be able to appear on another platform because it's being published by MGS, but if EA wants ME2&3 on multiple platforms then Bioware doesn't get to veto that decision. EA holds all of the power.

Yeah but it would be jumping to conclusions to say that Bioware's plans are all now going to be flushed.  One has to assume that a lot of the valuation for this deal ($860 million!) comes from the stuff that both companies have in the hopper.   I think the worst you'll see in the short term is a bigger emphasis on multi-platform releases, and honestly I would be surprised if Bioware wasn't planning that anyway (at least PC).  In the long term, who knows. 

I think EA is learning not to fuck with a good thing here and there, and that's why someone like Will Wright can go make an insane project like Spore.  I think Bioware will settle into a similar position as Maxis in that regard. 
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« Reply #75 on: October 12, 2007, 06:42:13 PM »

Quote from: kathode on October 12, 2007, 06:34:15 PM

I think EA is learning not to fuck with a good thing here and there, and that's why someone like Will Wright can go make an insane project like Spore.  I think Bioware will settle into a similar position as Maxis in that regard. 

Yeah.  They also seem to have treated Criterion pretty well.

My biggest concern is that EA is going to put pressure on Bioware to be quicker with product.  Dragon Age has been in gestation going on, what, four years now?  I don't see EA having that kind of patience with a PC exclusive from anybody that isn't named Will Wright.  Will  EA let Bioware delay their games to get the quality up to snuff or will there be increased pressure to put them out quicker?  The above quote about 4-5 games a year from Bioware and Pandemic is not encouraging at all in that regard. 
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TC Weidner
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« Reply #76 on: October 12, 2007, 06:52:13 PM »

Bioware has most of it focus on that "unnamed" MMORPG they are working on.  It might be the reason for the sale right there. MMORPGS cost a TON of money to make usually 35 million or more for a big named one.
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Larraque
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« Reply #77 on: October 12, 2007, 08:28:16 PM »

I for one am looking forward to playing Captain Bland's Monotonous Adventure.

Yeah. He fucking called it.
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Calvin
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« Reply #78 on: October 12, 2007, 08:43:10 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 12, 2007, 06:42:13 PM

Quote from: kathode on October 12, 2007, 06:34:15 PM

I think EA is learning not to fuck with a good thing here and there, and that's why someone like Will Wright can go make an insane project like Spore.  I think Bioware will settle into a similar position as Maxis in that regard. 

The above quote about 4-5 games a year from Bioware and Pandemic is not encouraging at all in that regard. 

This is probably my biggest concern here too. Even in the glory days when BI and Bioware were getting out 1 game a year, it was with collaboration between two top notch studios, smaller budgets, PC only programming, and much less intensive graphics and engines. That is just not possible for their type of games now a days.
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kathode
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« Reply #79 on: October 12, 2007, 09:15:30 PM »

While I agree with you that it sounds like they will be pushing for faster and bigger development, I think the numbers might be misleading.  I think when they say "4-5 games" what they mean is "4-5 SKUs" which means that Mass Effect and a theoretical Mass Effect PC would be two games, not one.
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