Speaking to IndustryGamers as part of a larger, wide-ranging interview, BioWare's Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk briefly touched upon the idea of broadening their audience. BioWare's games have been epic in scope and we asked the duo if their role-playing games would be a good fit for the Nintendo Wii audience.
Muzyka responded, "I think the question we'd ask is, 'What is the Wii audience looking for, and what would we want to deliver that has emotionally powerful narrative?' And that probably wouldn't be exactly the same as everything else we do; we did a DS game and that was already very different from what we've done before, and the PC-only SKUs we did years ago were very different than the ones we've done for console... They're all different from one another. If we did a Wii game I think we'd approach it with the target audience in mind first and the vision of delivering an emotionally powerful narrative and go back to our basics in terms of some of the pillars of gameplay we'd like to bring to bear – exploration, progression, customization, conflict, story, narrative, and characters. How do we adapt that to the platform? That's how we'd approach it. The interface design on the Wii is very different from the other platforms, and that's really an opportunity because you can actually tell different kinds of stories and convey a different type of narrative. In the end the players are all human regardless of platform and they all want to feel something powerful and engaging. As a developer, you just need to really adapt and customize depending on the platform."
We further pushed him on the subject and asked if we might see a Wii game from BioWare soon. He continued, "We'd be intrigued by the idea of developing on Wii but we have nothing to announce right now. We do have some unannounced projects that we're not ready to talk about yet, and they are different from some things we've done in the past... Our goal, really long-term, is to broaden our base and continue to differentiate and have diversity of choice on different platforms, because we know there are different audiences on platforms like mobile and Wii, and different geographic markets and distribution and business models. It's exciting, but you can't do all things at one time."
Our guess is we'll see something sooner rather than later from BioWare on the Wii. With an installed base of more than 50 million, the Wii's just too huge to ignore, and considering that EA owns BioWare, we think it's even more likely that BioWare will adhere to the publisher's multiplatform stance and deliver something for Wii in the near future.
So first Bethesda and now Bioware. Now we are waiting on Id and Epic Games to jump on the bandwagon.