30 in 30: BioWare

20 Nov 2011

BioWare is the latest developer to be profiled for CVG's "30 in 30" series, with the the two-page article providing a brief history lesson for the Canadian company, overviews of two of its three founders, and summaries of three key titles: Baldur's Gate, Jade Empire, and Mass Effect 2. The text is a little disjointed in a few areas, but still readable:
Some years later BioWare merged with Pandemic Studios and was eventually snapped up by Electronic Arts, which allowed both studios to retain their identities. Unfortunately, Pandemic was later shut down following the release of Mercenaries 2. However, BioWare soldiered on to create the generation defining sci-fi franchise Mass Effect and followed it up with the equally classy Dragon Age.

It's numerous successes EA's merging the do-no-wrong studio would with Mythic Entertainment and bolstering it with BioWare Austin and BioWare Montreal to become one all-encompassing RPG development division called the BioWare Group, led by Ray Muzyka as its group general manager and Greg Zeschuck as its group creative officer.

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A traditional role-playing game with great visuals was an inexplicable rarity at the time of the release of Baldur's Gate and BioWare's effort caught the eye of many discerning gamers in the aesthetically challenged genre, which was easier said than done for a 2D game releasing a time when 3D strategy games were thriving.

The delicious visuals were just garnish for Baldur's Gate's incredibly deep gameplay that provided the player with a myriad of options in everything from its character creation to its moment to moment gameplay.

Combat in Baldur's Gate is refreshingly unique, unfolding in real time but also giving the player the freedom to hit the pause button and issue orders to team members. Although it was divisive at first the system eventually proved itself to be popular and currently forms the core of many of BioWare's titles.