Ray Muzyka & Greg Zeschuk Interview

Gamasutra offers a hefty interview with BioWare heads Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk about their company's history, philosophy, DLC, and specifically on Dragon Age II and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
You've mentioned humility as one of the factors that BioWare tries to uphold. Can you explain that? Why is that important?

RM: Sure. It's about learning, being able to admit you're wrong, and learn from your mistakes. It's about trying to improve each game, try to make it better than your last, never sitting on your laurels, never resting. It's a very active word. It's a very bold word. It's a very confident word, in many ways, because it's sort of a willingness to say, "Yes, we're ready to change, if we need to change, based on feedback."

We're also able to say, "This is good, and we're going to move forward with it because we recognize that we have to try some things." It's a powerful word. It's sort of a word that forces you to listen to feedback. It's a collaborative kind of word. It's a word that [means] you have to be open. It's a meritocracy of ideas. That's how we run BioWare. The best ideas surface. This could come from internal sources, employees. It could come from press feedback and reviews. It could come from our fans. It comes from all three, actually.

BioWare has made all kinds of games, but right now it's the fantasy and the sci-fi genres that you're very focused on. Do you consider moving beyond that and trying to get more people that might not be into sci-fi or fantasy settings, and try more real world-type settings? It seems like that would be an opportunity to deliver emotions.

GZ: Yeah. That's something we've absolutely debated over time. As we look forward, that's something we consider more and more. It's interesting, I think. Initially, I remember, the debates were kind of entertaining. I think our context initially was from a very traditional RPG perspective.

So, think of the discussion 10 years ago. Okay, [compare] Baldur's Gate to current day. ... You look to where both Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 2 and then 3 have evolved to, and it's very, very different.

You can imagine the cop drama set in the Mass Effect sort of framework. You can imagine a spy adventure in that context. I think actually that what's happened is our ability to conceive and understand different game contexts has evolved. Then that starts opening up new platforms into things that are maybe less traditional than we have historically [done].

We're not confirming anything today, but it's something we discuss a lot, because one of the things we want to do is really try and broaden our appeal, broaden our reach, sell more units, get more fans.