Has EA Ruined BioWare?

01 May 2011

Even though I don't necessarily subscribe to the "EA is evil!" line of thinking, I doubt there are many RPG enthusiasts out there who wouldn't choose for BioWare to be independent again if they had a say in the matter. But The Gamer's Corner goes so far as to suggest that EA may have ruined BioWare by pushing quick development cycles and DLC shenanigans:
Bioware's latest release, Dragon Age 2 included all of these "innovations". It had a signature edition that included "The Exiled Prince" DLC, basically asking you to pay more for DLC that's already on the disk rather than paying even more to download it. The Exiled Prince was available on day one so was obviously created as part of the standard development process and split off to generate more income. The game also came with an online code that enabled The Black Emporium and some items, a thinly veiled attempt to reduce the odds of resale. Bear in mind that these "extras" are nothing of the sort, they were created during the very short 18 month development cycle.

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Endless releases of DLC seem to be more important than patching, The Exiled Prince was on sale long before the first 100+ fix patch. The patching process also seems to dry up once the DLC cycle has finished, it's almost like DLC is used to fund patches, rather than E.A. fixing a broken game out of loyalty and duty to its customer. Isn't it a legal obligation to fix a faulty product?

"The Arrival" is Bioware's latest release, a bridge between ME2 and ME3. The anticipation for ME3 has clearly been behind the high pricepoint of this release. £5.49 for 2 hours of gameplay. You'll not experience new items, meaningful choices or any gameplay features from ME3 either. It has no replayability value either, good Shepherd or bad Shepherd, the experience is identical on each playthrough.