Trent Oster on BioWare Doctors' Retirement

29 Sep 2012

Ex-BioWare developer Trent Oster, currently hard at work on the Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate, has offered some comments on the retirement of Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, the co-founders of BioWare, to NowGamer, arguing that Zeschuk might have been hurt by the harsh fan reactions to titles such as Mass Effect 3, and that Muzyka might have been discouraged by the difficulties of climbing to the position of CEO in EA.

Here's what Oster said:
“The last time I met up with [Greg], I felt his exhaustion,” explained Oster. "Punch out, eject, get the hell out", was my suggestions to him and it hit closer to the mark than I had realised. I also think the Mass Effect 3 fan reaction and the Old Republic fans negativity was just too much.”

“You have to love games and you put your heart into them to create them. To have the fans creating petitions against the work is pretty hard to take, especially when you've spent the last few years crunching overtime to try and ship a game. It can be hard to shut off the overwhelming negativity the internet spews forth, especially when it has your name or the name of your company in it.”

...

“Ray surprised me,” explained Oster. “I had him pegged as an EA lifer. My thought was the Ray agenda was to first usurp Frank Gibeau and then later John Riccotello as CEO.”

“I'm sure the internal culture at EA had pinned the Old Republic conversion to free to play as a failure and hung that completely on Ray, so that would have hurt his upward climb. But, I figured he would fight harder. EA upper management must have been even worse than I thought.”

It's worth noting that, while he doesn't specifically mention the article, some of Ray Muzyka's recent tweets seem to be written as a response to it:
I respect/revere fans, because they speak with deep, honest passion. Journalists speculating on ill-founded rumors should reassess approach.

Good websites demand clarity and credibility – lesser ones enable ill-informed individuals to make stuff up about other people.

What sparked it: speculation by lesser websites on ill-founded rumors from ill-informed individuals :)
 
 

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