Bioware is known for delivering some of the best games in the industry. Whether it is something older like Baldur’s Gate and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, or some more current great games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Their games were not only fun to play, they made you, the player, feel important as you played out different roles and made weighty decisions. Unfortunately, their image has washed away in more recent years leading them to become more of a brand-name then a powerhouse of amazing games. This trend will continue even more because the two founders, Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, have left Bioware and the gaming industry as a whole.
On Tuesday, September 18th, it was reported that the two doctors have left Bioware. Dr. Ray Muzyka has stated that he will leave the game industry and pursue intrest in “investing in and mentoring new entrepreneurs, and more specifically, the field of social/impact investing.” Muzyka also stated that he made this decision back in April this year and that he would not want to come back to the game industry. Dr. Greg Zeschuk had said that he no longer feels the passion for the company or games, and that he will pursue the craft beer industry. However, he has said that it may be possible for him to come back to gaming.
While Bioware is a huge company with hundreds of employees and this is just two men leaving that company, these two men were at the forefront of Bioware making sure their games can be the games that they want to make. This is primarily an issue of the more recent years because of EA buying their studio. Although at face value, it may not be a bad thing because EA can give them more money and more publicity for their games so they can hit mainstream success. However, it gives EA more control over Bioware’s games to make decisions that Bioware may not necessarily want to make.
Some of these decisions may be to ship the game faster, like in the case of Dragon Age 2. Dragon Age 2 suffered from a huge problem from this and repeated many level designs and had players go to the same environment to the point where it made the game overstay it’s welcome and be a worse game because of it. Another example would be including multiplayer in Mass Effect 3. However, the multiplayer was quite good and made a lot of money for micro-transactions, it was still something that was not part of Bioware’s vision of the Mass Effect universe.
This has caused fans of Bioware to be angry against them several times. Dragon Age 2 being a huge disappointment. The ending of Mass Effect 3 and how awful it is. And Star Wars: The Old Republic, a MMORPG which was a hue loss for EA and has recently taken the “Free-to-play” model just to get more users.
These are easy reasons for Dr. Ray and Dr. Greg to lose faith in their company, and for the most part EA. While it may also be true that Bioware has made some of their greatest games under EA, like Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins, their have been too many flops in their recent games that one has to be a bit more skeptical while looking at another Bioware developed game. I can only hope that the people who are working on the upcoming Dragon Age 3 and the next Mass Effect game can take a second and make sure they are making something not just for the fans, but for themselves too.