Could we have had a hand in Greg's and Ray's departure?

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#1 Posted by mordukai (7153 posts) -

Given the lashing Bioware has received the last two years from both gamers and some gaming journalists, I wonder just how much we contribute to their departure from Bioware, and from EA in general.

Maybe the harsh reception DA2 and ME3 got from gamers was just too much for them to handle that they decided to basically say "Fuck it, we're out!"? The treatment those dudes got can't be too healthy on your moral. Probably the fact that TOR did not preform as well as they thought it would contributed to their low moral. whole issue seems so surreal to me. When Bioware got bought by EA I am sure Greg and Ray would eventually end up running the show there.

I'm not saying that the blame falls squarely on us and Bioware sure made mistakes, They could have been more attentive when it came to listening to players feedback. They could have taken more the 18 months making DA2 and ME3. They could have, could have, could have.

On the other hand maybe we could have been more polite about how we approached DA2 and the ending to ME3. I know looking back I kinda regrat some of the words I said about Bioware. Looking back on it; while I don't think DA2 was the game I wanted it to be I can understand why they did what they did, and while I still think the original ending for ME3 was massive mistake I did hoever made my peace with it and understand why it turned out like that. I still haven't gone back to do that Extended Endings and I hear it helped resolve some of the issues many players had with it, I don't think that it's going to ease the disappointment I had with it.

I guess what I am trying to say that this is my personal apology for my behavior at the time. I know there's no chance those guys would ever see this post but for what it's worth...I'm Sorry, and good luck in whatever you guys decided to do next.

#2 Posted by TheHT (11362 posts) -

Very probably at least had a part in it. I doubt it was you personally though.

#3 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

No doubt, but it's good that they left. I'd wager that the main reason they left was that BioWare is no longer the company they created, but the retarded and incredibly ugly offspring of EA that's being kept on a short leash. Kind of surprised they didn't do it sooner.

#4 Posted by HH (610 posts) -

I doubt it.

They knew those two games would be compromised through a partnership with EA, with rushed deadlines, contractual obligations re dlc etc., they knew full well, they joined with EA in order to cash out, and leaving was part of the plan.

I'm sure producers at EA get all in a twist about how fans respond, but I think developers know better than to listen to what a sad pack of fanatics have to say about projects they themselves know, positives and negatives, inside out.

#5 Posted by TruthTellah (9151 posts) -

@mordukai: If you were one of those people adding to the hyperbolic vitriol and plain venom directed toward them, then your apology is nice. If you were just critical of the games and voiced your displeasure, there's no reason to apologize; game developers get bad receptions sometimes and they deal with it. But the -madness- surrounding the reaction to Bioware was despicable and certainly would have exhausted most anyone in the industry. It was sad to see how hateful even seemingly good people were then, and hopefully people might grow up past reacting in such a manner in the future.

So, I think it's incorrect to suggest that "we" had a hand in their leaving, but those who went way too far, pushing hyperbolic petitions, endless harassment, and death threats may indeed have negatively impacted these people's lives. People often forget that there are real individuals behind games, and how gamers respond, especially in the extreme, can certainly impact lives.

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#6 Posted by Neurotic (632 posts) -

Other than those fucking crazy people who went off on one after DA2 and ME3 (and continue to do so) I don't think the audience had too much to do with it. Personally, I know I didn't since I liked both DA2 and ME3, despite their flaws. They must be able to take reasoned criticism, which is what a lot of people who didn't like those games provided, but they shouldn't have to deal with some of the shit that was being thrown around. Although I'm not sure how much of it was really directed at them personally since I stayed well away from that nonsense.

Honestly, if I was them and I saw the stuff that's been directed at Bioware in the last couple years I too would think 'Fuck this noise, I'm out'. Didn't the Bombcast speculate that for one of them (I forget which), The Old Republic really took it out of them? That sounds plausible enough. However, they are clearly talented individuals and I expect their desire to try different things was the paramount reason for their departure.

#7 Posted by Brodehouse (9965 posts) -

I think for Ray, it's just "I don't _need_ to do this and I'm rich as fuck now. Why am I here?"

For Greg, I think it was he put his soul into that MMO, I think wanting to make that MMO is what necessitated the sale to EA in the first place. And the market just had the bottom fall out of it. I agree with the guys, he might come back after taking a couple years vacation. And then it'll either be a studio of friends that kickstart a new game, or he'll slide into a big management job at a major.

#8 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

The attitude shown by Bioware in the wake of the reception of the ME3 ending dripped of arrogance and hubris, I'm not the least bit sympathetic to their plight from that and hope Casey Hudson never gets to helm a project again.

I hope the good doctors enjoy saving the world and brewing beer. Seems like it will be a much more fulfilling endeavor for them in the immediate future. They don't deserve to be associated with the shitshow Bioware has become.

#9 Posted by AndrewB (7632 posts) -

I think it was mostly the pushing by EA to turn it from a creative outlet to an assembly line like so many other developers, but then to be given nothing but shit from the fans on the other side of this equation, well, it wears on your soul. Think about how you'd feel in the same position. It's not like it was all undeserved, but it was out of control. Even here on Giant Bomb, you couldn't go a day without a new thread about the ending to Mass Effect 3, and I couldn't find too many mentioning the good traits that Dragon Age 2 has.

#10 Edited by Make_Me_Mad (3103 posts) -

I think it's important to note that they're actually doctors. If they aren't big enough to handle internet criticism and realize that the most vitriolic and out-there death threats and petition/lawsuit makers were just the typical overly-excitable portion of the population at large, then I don't even know what to say.

#11 Edited by Kidavenger (3569 posts) -

I really doubt it's the reason they left, but it may be the reason they didn't stay. It's fairly easy to stick around when people love everything you do; something those guys enjoyed for a very long time. After those last three games it was clear bioware needed a shake up, hopefully this acts as a catalyst within the company to get them to stop resting on their history and get back to making good games.

#12 Edited by laserbolts (5323 posts) -

Don't say we. I do not want to be lumped in with the idiots that went crazy over videogames. Didn't a guy try to sue them or something? What the fuck is that? People just need to chill out and not take such minor things as an ending to a videogame or a videogame being rushed so seriously. It's embarrassing.

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#13 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

Some people think the whole ending thing started with an EA publicity stunt that went viral and of course got the loonies to jump aboard. A "this is how relevant our games are" type of deal. You rarely see a game get that much coverage.

#14 Posted by jimmyfenix (3855 posts) -

its all your fault!!!

#15 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@jimmyfenix said:

its all your fault!!!

#16 Posted by falserelic (5444 posts) -

@TeflonBilly: LOL!

#17 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1838 posts) -

if the entire internet suddenly turned on you because of an ending to a game i cant see why not

#18 Posted by BlackLagoon (1440 posts) -

Dammit, I guess I shouldn't have been sending them all those death threats. :(

#19 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

Make 3 games in a row that deserve negative criticism. Blame the criticism.

#20 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11791 posts) -

I think the doctors were going to leave regardless, and the fan backlash and domination of corporate overlords just served as incentive to get out sooner rather than later.

#21 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19350 posts) -

From Ray Muzika's twitter, maybe fans perhaps didn't have that much of an impact on the departure.

#22 Posted by ajamafalous (12007 posts) -

Maybe they shouldn't make bad games.

#23 Edited by Catarrhal (835 posts) -

Despite having pre-ordered Mass Effect 3 in June of last year, I still haven't finished the game. The overwhelming backlash, which began months before the game was released, made it impossible to enjoy. There's no question this shit impacted their decision to leave. They may be doctors, but they're still human beings, people. No wonder Greg Zeschuk is so interested in alcohol; the man's ready to drown his sorrows.

@laserbolts said:

I do not want to be lumped in with the idiots that went crazy … Didn't a guy try to sue them or something? What the fuck is that?

Exactly.

#24 Posted by BionicRadd (617 posts) -

@ExplodeMode said:

Make 3 games in a row that deserve negative criticism. Blame the criticism.

The outrage displayed over the ending to ME3 could hardly be justified as criticism. It bordered on unstable fanaticism. People were disproportionately angry about a video game. DA2 was just met with a "man, what a bummer" from what I recall. The reaction people had to ME3 made me embarrassed to be known as a "gamer".

#25 Posted by JasonR86 (9714 posts) -

No. That's shoving off responsibility for something that likely doesn't have one singular cause.

#26 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

I don't buy it. These guys are old pros and must have built a strong retaliation to Internet hate. It was certainly a stronger response than most fan feedback, but these guys have been through a lot of shit.

#27 Posted by FreakAche (2953 posts) -

It's all your fault!

#28 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

Well I didn't, the ending (before EC) wasn't exactly what I was expecing but I had not interest in forming some stupid facebook group to demand stuff , I payed for a videogame and got back a videogame.

#29 Posted by mordukai (7153 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

I don't buy it. These guys are old pros and must have built a strong retaliation to Internet hate. It was certainly a stronger response than most fan feedback, but these guys have been through a lot of shit.

Not to that extent. I think all the backlash they got from ME3 was just the culmination of something their fan base was harboring ever since ME2. Just look at the sharp change they made since getting bought by EA. DAO was the last "old school" pre EA Bioware RPG ( I know it came out under the EA brand but development for this game started way back in 2004) and that one came out a couple of month before ME2 so a lot of fans thought that Bioware are just doing their thing. When ME2 came out most of Bioware's fans just when "HUH?!".

I just hope Bioware won't follow in the footsteps of Origin Systems, Bullfrog Productions, Maxis, Westwood Studios, and Pandemic Studios.

#30 Posted by BionicRadd (617 posts) -

@mordukai said:

@Phatmac said:

I don't buy it. These guys are old pros and must have built a strong retaliation to Internet hate. It was certainly a stronger response than most fan feedback, but these guys have been through a lot of shit.

Not to that extent. I think all the backlash they got from ME3 was just the culmination of something their fan base was harboring ever since ME2. Just look at the sharp change they made since getting bought by EA. DAO was the last "old school" pre EA Bioware RPG ( I know it came out under the EA brand but development for this game started way back in 2004) and that one came out a couple of month before ME2 so a lot of fans thought that Bioware are just doing their thing. When ME2 came out most of Bioware's fans just when "HUH?!".

I just hope Bioware won't follow in the footsteps of Origin Systems, Bullfrog Productions, Maxis, Westwood Studios, and Pandemic Studios.

They will. It's what happens when you sell out to a big corporation. I am not faulting them for taking the money, mind you, but places like EA and Activision care about churning out games that sell millions on an annual basis. If you don't take that into account before accepting the buyout offer, it's your own fault.

Honestly, though? I think Greg and Ray were just done and who could blame them. Very seldom do you become successful in life doing what you truly love, so it wouldn't surprise me to learn that, while they obviously had a passion for gaming, they had other interests that were maybe less economically viable. People change over time. God knows I don't want to spend the rest of my life doing what I currently doing what I do for a living.

#31 Posted by JackOhara (227 posts) -

I think there's a pattern of this type of thing happening when companies get sold off

#32 Posted by mordukai (7153 posts) -

@BionicRadd: Wasn't Bioware a part of a group with Pandemic that was owned by investment company that then sold them to EA? If that's the case then I'm not sure how much say they had in that acquisition. Personally I think after Bioware became a part of EA then things got too big too fast. It would have been great if Greg and Ray did the Bungie thing and just bought themselves out.

#33 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1994 posts) -

Ya, who knows, maybe they just want to change things up? After all they were medical doctors before they made videogames, this could just be another change in their career paths. I wouldn't feel too bad for them, they had their successes and probably made a shit ton of money doing it. I feel worse for the games industry and fans of their games as we have lost two visionary leaders of the industry.

People who freaked out may be partly to blame. Hopefully this will make them wise up and stop acting like fucking children.

Online
#34 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

Considering the volitle reaction after ME3, I wouldn't be surprised. I also wouldn't be surprised if death threats weren't made.

#35 Edited by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@mordukai:

Hugz

#36 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

Some of you guys are fucking assholes.

#37 Posted by Quarters (1719 posts) -

I don't think it was the only reason, but I definitely think it had a high chance of playing a part. People were ridiculous about some of that stuff.

#38 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1838 posts) -

@believer258: welcome to any internet forum

#39 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@connerthekewlkid said:

@believer258: welcome to any internet forum

I know, but the amount of vitriol spewed toward Bioware is fucking appaling. Jesus, you people are smarter than this, these are fucking human beings that some of you are calling out for, what, not making Baldur's fucking Gate again?

I'm not talking about you, connerthekewlkid, I'm just talking about some people who go on about how "Bioware betrayed their loyal fanbase" and "sold out to EA". Fucking hell, they put everything they had into a lot of these games and maybe Dragon Age 2 wasn't so great. But even it wasn't a goddamn Daikatana or Superman 64. Mass Effect 3 was more Mass Effect, with a less than stellar ending, but hardly worth all the hate spewed their way.

#40 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@connerthekewlkid said:

@believer258: welcome to any internet forum

I know, but the amount of vitriol spewed toward Bioware is fucking appaling. Jesus, you people are smarter than this, these are fucking human beings that some of you are calling out for, what, not making Baldur's fucking Gate again?

I'm not talking about you, connerthekewlkid, I'm just talking about some people who go on about how "Bioware betrayed their loyal fanbase" and "sold out to EA". Fucking hell, they put everything they had into a lot of these games and maybe Dragon Age 2 wasn't so great. But even it wasn't a goddamn Daikatana or Superman 64. Mass Effect 3 was more Mass Effect, with a less than stellar ending, but hardly worth all the hate spewed their way.

People went WAY overboard with the vile and venom, but are you trying to say Bioware shouldn't be called out for shitting the bed THREE times in a row just cause "They worked hard on it"?

I'm pretty sure the people who work on the much maligned Madden or CoD yearly franchises work just as hard, but you don't see many people jump to their defence.

#41 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@TeflonBilly said:

@believer258 said:

@connerthekewlkid said:

@believer258: welcome to any internet forum

I know, but the amount of vitriol spewed toward Bioware is fucking appaling. Jesus, you people are smarter than this, these are fucking human beings that some of you are calling out for, what, not making Baldur's fucking Gate again?

I'm not talking about you, connerthekewlkid, I'm just talking about some people who go on about how "Bioware betrayed their loyal fanbase" and "sold out to EA". Fucking hell, they put everything they had into a lot of these games and maybe Dragon Age 2 wasn't so great. But even it wasn't a goddamn Daikatana or Superman 64. Mass Effect 3 was more Mass Effect, with a less than stellar ending, but hardly worth all the hate spewed their way.

People went WAY overboard with the vile and venom, but are you trying to say Bioware shouldn't be called out for shitting the bed THREE times in a row just cause "They worked hard on it"?

I'm pretty sure the people who work on the much maligned Madden or CoD yearly franchises work just as hard, but you don't see many people jump to their defence.

But they didn't shit the bed three times in a row. I've played all of their current gen games except Dragon Age 2, and I played the demo of that, and that's the only one that's really even close to "bad". Mass Effect 3 wasn't bad and neither was 2. You can dislike them and be critical of them if you want to, I'm all for that, but you'd think that the people at Bioware collectively ruined the lives of some people.

No, I don't really think they deserve to be "called out", just criticized. If you don't like their games, you can express your opinion in critical terms. Why is it bad? What did they do wrong? What could they have done better? No one deserves the hate thrown their way.

#42 Edited by connerthekewlkid (1838 posts) -
#43 Posted by foggel (2763 posts) -

I'd say yes. Although I supported DA2, and I never signed the ME3 petition. My conscience is clean.

#44 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -
@laserbolts
Don't say we. I do not want to be lumped in with the idiots that went crazy over videogames. Didn't a guy try to sue them or something? What the fuck is that? People just need to chill out and not take such minor things as an ending to a videogame or a videogame being rushed so seriously. It's embarrassing.
Couldn't have said it better myself. The people that lost their goddamn minds over ME3 and sent death threats and shit to that female writer should be fucking disgusted with their behavior. People like that are why no one takes video game players or video games themselves seriously. Of course we're going to be look at as childish when groups of us have giant public temper tantrums.
#45 Posted by falserelic (5444 posts) -

They need to look up to Dark L. Jackson.

#46 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@connerthekewlkid said:

@believer258: welcome to any internet forum

I know, but the amount of vitriol spewed toward Bioware is fucking appaling. Jesus, you people are smarter than this, these are fucking human beings that some of you are calling out for, what, not making Baldur's fucking Gate again?

I'm not talking about you, connerthekewlkid, I'm just talking about some people who go on about how "Bioware betrayed their loyal fanbase" and "sold out to EA". Fucking hell, they put everything they had into a lot of these games and maybe Dragon Age 2 wasn't so great. But even it wasn't a goddamn Daikatana or Superman 64. Mass Effect 3 was more Mass Effect, with a less than stellar ending, but hardly worth all the hate spewed their way.

Yeah and you're blindly defending BioWare, perhaps because of the reaction, stop playing Devil's advocate. I agree that the outburst by some of the gaming community was way too much, I believe death threats entered the situation at some point. But I'd rather have that than everyone buying BioWare games like mindless zombies. They made bade games, maybe not bad for you but bad for a lot of people who used to love BioWare games, myself included, and while a lot of people may have overreacted I'm not gonna see shit and call it the greatest thing ever because of it.

Put everything they had? From a talent or financial standpoint? If it's the first one they may as well close up shop right now. I used to love BioWare and their games, and I hope they at least in some way go a little bit back to how they used to be. But if you expect people to be spoon fed shit by BioWare/EA and like it because it's BioWare...ain't gonna happen. I'll have a burning hatred for Dragon Age 2 till the day I die. I'll skeptically await Dragon Age 3...prove me wrong BioWare...prove me wrong.

#47 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@TheDudeOfGaming said:

@believer258 said:

@connerthekewlkid said:

@believer258: welcome to any internet forum

I know, but the amount of vitriol spewed toward Bioware is fucking appaling. Jesus, you people are smarter than this, these are fucking human beings that some of you are calling out for, what, not making Baldur's fucking Gate again?

I'm not talking about you, connerthekewlkid, I'm just talking about some people who go on about how "Bioware betrayed their loyal fanbase" and "sold out to EA". Fucking hell, they put everything they had into a lot of these games and maybe Dragon Age 2 wasn't so great. But even it wasn't a goddamn Daikatana or Superman 64. Mass Effect 3 was more Mass Effect, with a less than stellar ending, but hardly worth all the hate spewed their way.

Yeah and you're blindly defending BioWare, perhaps because of the reaction, stop playing Devil's advocate. I agree that the outburst by some of the gaming community was way too much, I believe death threats entered the situation at some point. But I'd rather have that than everyone buying BioWare games like mindless zombies. They made bade games, maybe not bad for you but bad for a lot of people who used to love BioWare games, myself included, and while a lot of people may have overreacted I'm not gonna see shit and call it the greatest thing ever because of it.

Put everything they had? From a talent or financial standpoint? If it's the first one they may as well close up shop right now. I used to love BioWare and their games, and I hope they at least in some way go a little bit back to how they used to be. But if you expect people to be spoon fed shit by BioWare/EA and like it because it's BioWare...ain't gonna happen. I'll have a burning hatred for Dragon Age 2 till the day I die. I'll skeptically await Dragon Age 3...prove me wrong BioWare...prove me wrong.

I'm not saying anything against anyone having an opinion. I'm saying something against people unfairly throwing insane amounts of bile at Bioware. It's not a matter of "well, Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 are bad because ___", it's a matter of unfair amounts of hate thrown their way. Hate not toward the game - that's fine - hate toward the people who made it. Like Bioware ruined the lives of these people or something. If you don't like the game, properly criticize and move on. Don't act like the world ended because the sequel to Dragon Age Origins was crap.

#48 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I'm not saying anything against anyone having an opinion. I'm saying something against people unfairly throwing insane amounts of bile at Bioware. It's not a matter of "well, Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 are bad because ___", it's a matter of unfair amounts of hate thrown their way. Hate not toward the game - that's fine - hate toward the people who made it. Like Bioware ruined the lives of these people or something. If you don't like the game, properly criticize and move on. Don't act like the world ended because the sequel to Dragon Age Origins was crap.

Why are you making a case against people saying that they feel Bioware has lost it?

People are more than entitled to "call out" the company when several people have noticed a disturbing trend of bad decision making and drop of quality. Blizzard or Valve would get the same criticism as a company if they ruined their seemingly stellar record over the course of a few years by doing severable questionable decisions and releasing products which weren't up to snuff with their history.

In the eyes of many fans, Bioware has lost their golden touch and are rightfully being pegged for it.

#49 Posted by ThePickle (4184 posts) -

It's not the fan's fault that the games were disappointing.

#50 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

ME3's coop freemium business scheme certainly made a raging lunatic out of me, if the thread I made about it is any indication. Simply because free doesn't go with good gamedesign - at least in the longterm. Of course my personal rage over the rotten deal of being victimized by disingenuous free content and its preposterously-redundant-unlocks-rewarding (lack of) progression was nothing in comparison to the sheer amount of vitriolic rage out there - especially over the lackluster endings. It makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it (both as an emphatetic person, and from the genuine hate I felt towards ME3's coop unlock scheme).

I guess if you're leveraging your fans' love too hard, the scales are going to tip over from love to hate in a jiffy - which is what happend with every major Bioware game since Mass Effect 2. How much guilt is to be put on EA's corporate mandates is the question at hand. Obviously not enough, since Dr. Ray seems to got stuck with lots of the blame for the relative failures of recent Bioware games, ending his climb of the corporate ladder; and Dr. Greg apparently blaming himself for things he hardly had all that much control over.

Certainly - hating on EA/Bioware has gotten way out of hand, and likely affected the wrong people way too hard. Then again, that's fame for you. Just hope they both recover and have lots of happy days ahead. Long days and pleasant nights.

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