In an interview with VG247, Greg Zeschuk gave his opinion on the current state of the role playing game:
Do you see Bioware as ‘the’ RPG studio for EA now, or do you see yourselves as being broader than that?I think broader. I mean – it’s funny – RPGs are and always have been our bread and butter, our heart is there, but at the same time I think – well, we had the RPG panel breakfast at GDC yesterday – and what was interesting about that was that we had the conversation about ‘what is an RPG’ and it’s a blend. The genres are blending right now, you’re getting lots and lots of progression and RPG elements in shooters – online persistence and so on.
It’s funny because the RPG in the context of the current world is – well, it’s not specifically irrelevant, but it’s becoming less relevant in and of itself. It’s more a function of ‘hey, this game has a great story’. For us having that emotion but also having other great features like combat and persistence of character progression and stuff.
It’s kind of what we are, but more importantly we’re just about great games.
It's an interesting interview, but it's obvious that he's trying to hype a bit more their new MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. The Mass Effect franchise is an obvious example of RPG elements blended into an alien structure, in this case a third person shooter. Games have been incorporating RPG elements for years now. Just look at S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or Puzzle Quest, two games whose core gameplay is that of a first person shooter and a "connect three" puzzle, respectively, but in which RPG elements play a vital role. But can you truly say that RPGs are "less relevant" nowadays, with the future release of massive "pure" games like Skyrim or Diablo III?
Edit: Why does the editor remove the spacing in my posts? -_-