BioWare Interviews

BioWare doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk continue to field questions about their design philosophy and the company's most recent releases, starting with part three of GameInformer's ongoing Q&A:
Speaking of good games correct me if I'm wrong but thinking back I can't come up with another circumstance where a company released two games in which they invested so heavily as you did with Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 within a span of a couple of months. What did you learn from releasing two big projects so closely together, and would you do it again?

Greg: We've learned not to do it again. [Laughs]

Ray: Well, it went well. It came from the hard efforts of a lot of people.

Greg: Well yeah, I think because we do have distinct teams in the sense that there's a whole Mass Effect franchise team and a whole Dragon Age franchise team. There's certainly crossover with some of the folks that do voiceover stuff and the testing and that, but they were far enough apart that they were separated. What's interesting, though, is that Mass Effect 2 was actually done before Christmas because we had to submit it, so really it was a two-month period between the actual completion of one and the other so it was very, very tight. I think we learned that we could do it. This was always one of those interesting challenges that we have as a company. Even though we were always a multi-project company, everyone always said we shouldn't even put games even in the same year as one another. It's an interesting benefit in the sense that it shows the diversity of what we can do because they are very different games. They push on different things, and it worked. It takes the effort of a whole bunch of people at BioWare, EA, and elsewhere. And it all fell into place, which is really cool. Not to say it wasn't scary.

And then CVG offers up their perspective on Mass Effect 2's Cerberus Network service:
When asked if this strategy had worked in curbing used sales of the games, Muzyka replied: "I think that from our perspective, it's mostly around providing content, however someone got the game. As long as we are providing a great content stream for them to partake in, then I think that's great. We all win in that concept."

"For us, we want to have a really good relationship with the customer: Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2, DLC stuff, Mass Effect 3, future things. What we are most concerned with is having that customer relationship. I think something like Cerberus is a great way to cement that because part of the game comes up in beginning messages from Cerberus, and it's part of the community."

Zeschuk added: "It's part of our philosophy of building a service orientation for our customers to continue to bring more stuff, so they could continue to depend on us to deliver that. And in turn we appreciate their business, so we are going to continue to drive really high quality stuff for them."