"We Had Complete Creative Control," Says Greg Zeschuk Of EA Relationship
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."