The lights are on
Yesterday saw EA's second consecutive "win" in Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" contest. BioWare co-founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk spoke about his new life in beer, his thoughts about a return to game development, and BioWare's relationship with EA, in an interview with GamesIndustry. The doctor has definitely moved on, but his retrospective look at his time in the industry is all the more valuable for it.
One of the statements that stands out is Zeschuk's assertion that his studio had "complete creative control" throughout the development of key titles, including Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3. Both received mixed responses from critics and consumers. Consumerist cited Mass Effect 3 in their "Worst Company" wrap-up post, claiming the endgame was rushed and that the publisher pushed it out too early. If Zeschuk's comment about EA's input on the creative product is accurate, the publisher would necessarily be absolved of guilt for the original ending of the trilogy.
He also talks about the transition that BioWare underwent when EA took over. His advice to others considering a publisher buyout is to make the decision based on the people involved. Zeschuk and his partner Dr. Ray Muzyka had worked with former EA CEO John Riccitiello before and felt comfortable with him. It might not have been that way had the pair had decided to go with someone they weren't familiar with. "The last thing you want to do is kind of blindly sell your company and not really know what you're in for," Zeszhuk stated, "because all the work you've ever done can be easily undone."
There is much more to the fascinating interview, which is available at GamesIndustry. For those that also enjoy libations, Dr. Greg Zeschuk's Beer Diaries is in full swing on his new website.
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Hahah! "Beer diaries".
Someone who was controlled by EA would say that they had complete control. lol i dont really even know or care about this anyway
I wonder how much EA paid him to say that. Probably a hefty sum.
Thank you! I don't get all the negativity towards EA at all, and whoever voted for them as the worst company seriously needs to open their eyes to things that actually matter
I don't entirely believe him, there had to have been influences from EA, how large or impactful those influences were is up for debate. Certain elements like the day-one DLC seems like an idea that would most certainly not have come from the developers. I do feel that they probably retained a large amount of creative control on the actual content itself though.
Regardless, I must say I am enjoying his Beer Diaries show and I wish him continued success with it.
One of BioWare's founders says his team is responsible for their games and everyone STILL wants to say EA is paying him off or pressuring him to speak...People are ridiculous. This man is a medical doctor. I couldn't find anything on his particular net worth, but BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka apparently clocks in at $80 million. Zeschuk probably isn't too far from that. He doesn't need EA slipping him money under the table.
Mass Effect 3's ending was out of sync with the rest of the series because Drew Karpyshyn left, not because the ending was "rushed." I don't really see what was rushed about it...they had all the elements at play by the time it rolled around, they just did a bad job putting them together.
To counteract the conspiracy theorists. This guy was in the industry for decades, when he retired he said it was because he lost his passion for making video games. In the full interview he admits he probably won't make another game, he's happy making beer. He also says he enjoys business and running a business, and acknowledges that the bottom line is final especially for an indie. In a final shocking twist he thinks that Bioware had more opportunity to take risks and be experimental at EA as they had a larger budget and more license to fail, one bad game might kill an indie but not EA.
Maybe the controversy over the last few games created by him was due to the being more experimental and taking risks, maybe as he was losing his passion he was simply less focussed and that affected the quality and polish. Maybe they just lost their touch.
The far the's happy, already rich and busy making beer speaks against conspiracies of being paid by EA. He has no stake, the games he made are already old enough to not affect budgets, he's not going to get back in the industry. Maybe as the guy who ran the studio as an indie, negotiated the contracts, made the deal and made the games he is in a better position to know what its like joining EA. Your insistence on the EA is evil narrative despite and discrediting any contrary evidence is irrational, the same behaviour as zealots and conspiracy theorists. Your belief in your story means its pointless to try and present contrary evidence.
Never try to reason a man out of a position he did not arrive at by reason.
Meh, If they had complete control than they wouldn't have been forced to do an obvious damage control story after being a part of EA.
Well Greg, it probably had a lot to do with how the first Mass Effect sold. It showed potential in both game ingenuity and sales. Profit margins was close to 3 million dollars with the game so yeah, it did well to prompt two sequels. What if it didn't? Just look back to Westwood studios. After the buyout a lot of their games were subject to increased control by EA and they liquidated the studio soon after.
So yeah, I'm sure EA would have their hands clean of Bioware if the Mass Effect series didn't make them money.
I personally loved mass effect 3, the only part that got on my nerves was the original ending which sucked
Zeschuk and his partner Dr. Ray Muzyka had worked with former EA CEO John Riccitiello before and felt comfortable with him. It might not have been that way had the pair had decided to go with someone they weren't familiar with. "The last thing you want to do is kind of blindly sell your company and not really know what you're in for," Zeszhuk stated, "because all the work you've ever done can be easily undone."
Um, CEOs change all the time. You could have easily been working with a nightmare case within a short amount of time after selling. Anytime a company accepts a buyout, they become worse. Are there cases where people can prove this to be untrue? I can't think of a single developer whose games improved after they accepted a publisher buyout... I only see carcasses and shattered IPs.