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Mass Effect 3
EA's Relationship With BioWare a "Bear Hug," Says Zeschuk
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BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk has opened up on the studio’s relationship with EA, describing the company’s management style as a “bear hug.”

EA acquired BioWare, along with Mercenaries dev Pandemic, for $860m in 2007. Since that time BioWare has developed Mass Effect 2 and 3, the Dragon Age series and PC MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Zeschuk left the studio last year with fellow co-founder Ray Muzyka. The shock move has been put down to the “fan negativity” bought on by the reception to Dragon Age 2 and the ending of Mass Effect 3, among other factors.

Reflecting on his time under EA, Zeschuk hinted at potentially difficult relationship, saying "I think one of the reasons that we survived and succeeded within EA was that our company was mature enough and there was enough good people throughout to handle the EA bear hug - something that is well meaning but vigorous." 

"We needed to be strong to survive that and I think we did and you evolve from that as well."

Zeschuk’s well-mannered words may suggest the co-founder’s real reason for leaving Bioware. Or maybe he really did just want to spend more time with his beer.

[via Polygon]




 
 

User Comments

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #1 by Hurricane Of 87
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 06:58:22 AM
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$860? What a steal!


Forum Posts: 88
Comment #2 by Blumpenstein
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:04:25 AM
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@1 I should've bought Bioware instead and just let them do their own thing.


Forum Posts: 815
Comment #3 by Riphade 1
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:04:39 AM
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If everyone quit cause of fan negativity, there would be no games.


Forum Posts: 1414
Comment #4 by Vindicator51
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:07:22 AM
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It was a slippery slope since they bought Bioware, and converted them into EA. If the games truly are what they had in mind, then not all of the blame is on EA.

Maybe they shouldn't hype up choices that matter next time.


Forum Posts: 7421
Comment #5 by iBuzz7S
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:15:26 AM
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@1 it's one thing to acquire it. It's another thing to support it for 6+ months while in development. Then comes the advertising.....


Forum Posts: 19
Comment #6 by SeraphTC
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:21:28 AM
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I am a long time fan of Bioware. I think this is a very...tempered response.

It was extremely obvious when EA took over. Look at the differences between Dragon Age and Mass Effect, to Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 2 + 3. The original games are heavy on the RPG - all very classic Bioware, with classic Bioware scope and writing.

The sequels might display a slightly higher degree of polish, but ultimately they are dumbed down action games. A huge chunk of the classic RPG elements have gone. (why, exactly, can't I equip my followers with gear I've chosen?) The story is still there (although even that seems to have been made more mainstream-friendly), and the games are still accessible, and still fun, but they aren't quite Bioware anymore. The Bioware stamp got replaced with the EA thumb-print.

Very disappointing.


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #7 by ProcessRex
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:21:46 AM
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EA ruined Bioware, simple as that.


Forum Posts: 494
Comment #8 by Timmsy
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:28:32 AM
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wow only 860 dollars? i would have bought them for that.

i dont really care what he has to say, ME3 finale was not that well done at all, star wars MMO was crap and had to go to free to play due to how no noe wanted to subscribe to it anymore it was so bad.

and dragon age 2? i didnt know that was so bad thought everyone loved it.

they made much less effort in their games last year and funnily enough they paid for it.





Forum Posts: 494
Comment #9 by Timmsy
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:31:40 AM
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wow the news posts here get so wrong lately, alot...

your link saying dragon age 2 was one of the problems, then goes to an article saying nothing about dragon age 2....what the hell?

looks like you made that up then, i did wonder why DA2 was mentioned...



Forum Posts: 271
Comment #10 by macd
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:38:21 AM
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I can see their point in a way. DA2 was not quite finished but they had to release. The others that I played were all fantastic though. And the single dungeon layout in DA2 didn't bother me that much, but was easily noticable.

Still, EA probably means more budget, bigger releases and more money for Bioware in the end doesn't it? Perhaps it is a double edged sword, but it doesn't seem that bad from the outside.


Forum Posts: 67
Comment #11 by InfamyxBreed
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:39:50 AM
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If people read then you would notice the lower case m next to the $860 so it looks like $860m translating to $860,000,000. I read better asleep than some people on this site.

And I agree with #5 as even with almost a year after release I just can not bring myself to play Mass Effect 3 as I'm sick of games transitioning into action from RPG. The market has become saturated with the same brainless dribble for years now. I want innovation and a captivating story line but well balanced with depth and that has replay value. I like a game that makes you think before you act,. not just hold the right trigger and drool.


Forum Posts: 115
Comment #12 by Mittens2317
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:43:35 AM
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@11: That's because it's just been edited, fool.


Forum Posts: 51
Comment #13 by Woody28
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:46:04 AM
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Don't care, Mass Effect 2 was fantastic.


Forum Posts: 338
Comment #14 by MEMANIAsama
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:54:09 AM
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Just for clarification, SWTOR is a great MMO comparable to WoW when WoW first came out. The downside of SWTOR was that you outleveled content too quick, so if you were a completionist, like most long term RPG nerds, you quickly finished the game within a month.


Forum Posts: 7108
Comment #15 by Opiate42
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:54:38 AM
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Want to catch the Beer Diaries. :)


Forum Posts: 1436
Comment #16 by Vigor
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:55:50 AM
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I feel sad about Pandemic.
Mercs 1 was a great game and would have loved to see Mercs 3.

To hell with EA and them mainstreaming creativity.


Forum Posts: 9
Comment #17 by Boro Iz Rich
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 07:57:09 AM
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So you leave the company you've worked for, for years... because fans told you how they felt about your product(s)?

One word: Wow


Forum Posts: 12
Comment #18 by PledgedZebra4
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 08:00:19 AM
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@6 Yep. Been saying this for almost a year now and everyone puts their fingers in their ears and goes "nah,nah,nah,nah."

Mass Effect - RPG

Mass Effect 2 - Action/RPG

Mass Effect 3 - Corridor Cover Shooter

This is just how EA roll. Cover shooters with online multiplayer have higher sales than RPG's. Unfortunately this means Bioware are not the company they once were. If you want a quality RPG you need to look elsewhere.


Forum Posts: 231
Comment #19 by Infomouse
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 08:42:52 AM
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Just to be clear, when both Ray and Greg left BioWare, many fans asked them via Twitter if they left because of Mass Effect 3. While I'm not sure why Greg Zeschuk left BioWare (could very well be because of the negative fan reaction), Ray Muzyka has directly said that his leaving had nothing to do with the fan reaction to Mass Effect 3, and said that any journalist claiming so was false.


Forum Posts: 2200
Comment #20 by cheevo360
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 09:10:19 AM
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#6 That's well wrote. I agreed with you. RPG elements not enough in sequel or 0% gone either.


Forum Posts: 26
Comment #21 by Wing X Custom
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 09:32:00 AM
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So they need fish Jerky to distract EA and make good games..? QUICK! Someone give them all the fish Jerky they need!


Forum Posts: 8
Comment #22 by HumanDestroyer
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 09:38:49 AM
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I HAVE NO RESPECT FOR BIOWARE AFTER THEY WERE BASICALLY BEATEN INTO SLAVES BY EA.
BIOWARE USED TO BE A FANTASTIC DEVELOPER THAT MADE AWESOME STORY DRIVEN GAMES, I USED TO LOVE THEM, NOW THEY ARE JUST ANOTHER MEDIOCRE RUN OF THE MILL ''FLASHY BANG'' ACTION DEVELOPER.
I AM NOT ALONE FEELING THIS WAY, MANY MANY MANY BIOWARE FANS HAVE TURNED AGAINST THEM AS THEIR QUALITY OF PRODUCT HAS DIMINISHED SIGNIFICANTLY.
DRAGON AGE ORIGINS = BRILLIANCE MASS EFFECT = BRILLIANCE DRAGON AGE 2 = DOG SHIT MASS EFFECT 2+3 = SLIGHTLY BETTER SMELLING DOGSHIT.
BIOWARE ARE DEAD, THE FOUNDERS LEAVING SIGNIFIED THAT NO DOUBT!!
BIOWARE ARE DEAD AND I PISS ON THEIR GRAVES, FOR TURNING AGAINST THE FANBASE THAT MADE THEM.
LONG LIVE CD PROJEKT RED, THE NEW AND IMPROVED BIOWARE.
BIOWARE DESERVES ITS SLOW ROTTING FALL INTO MEDIOCRITY.

DISGRACE!!!!!!!!!!!


Forum Posts: 336
Comment #23 by Poisonheadcrab
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 09:41:37 AM
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I would say that going from video games to beer production would be a smart move :)


Forum Posts: 77
Comment #24 by Jerric
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 09:48:23 AM
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They say that's not why they are leaving, but one still has to wonder. It's one thing to leave a sinking ship, and another to have built that ship, and watch someone else slowly fill it with water. I'm sad about where bioware is heading, I can't imagine how the guys who created it feel.


Forum Posts: 3223
Comment #25 by DecadentBeaver
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 09:48:23 AM
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@18. I totally agree with you. I really want to play Mass Effect again. Been far too long.


Forum Posts: 92
Comment #26 by PluralAces
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 10:06:28 AM
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This is news? everyone knows EA makes the companies they have udner them do what they want, without exceptions


Forum Posts: 89
Comment #27 by strawberry
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 11:40:16 AM
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And now they longer make complex RPG games, they make shooters for the lowest common denominator.

Good Job, you "survived".


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #28 by Nihlus87
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 11:55:25 AM
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Sold your souls to EA. I guess money is just too much of a lure for some people to keep their dignity. Makes me want to go back and play the classics like Neverwinter Nights. Won't see games like that very often now.


Forum Posts: 3
Comment #29 by MattBosten
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 12:24:51 PM
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No real surprise here. Bioware were a victim of their own success and are now on a downward curve, hopefully they can put it right.


Forum Posts: 12
Comment #30 by Pyrofreezer
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 01:02:12 PM
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I found Mass Effect 3 too be just as good as Mass Effect 1, and 2; however EA is the devils company and will screw any fan over so long as it gets them cash.

Come on Bioware, you're a damn good company, don't make Mass Effect 4 the way EA want you too.


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #31 by ADTR TOM
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 01:30:02 PM
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EA being honest for once, going to assume it's very hard to get out of a bear hug


Forum Posts: 367
Comment #32 by InfernoFrY
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 02:12:59 PM
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Do they really deserve sympathy? At the end of the day EA is just trying to run a business so if they are pouring money into the developers pockets every month they are bound to keep a close eye on them.

I bet they were well compensated for their efforts and sure there were some hiccups but if it weren't for having deadlines nothing would ever see its release date.


Forum Posts: 209
Comment #33 by fivebyfive200
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 02:54:23 PM
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This is what EA do, they buy a company and force to make the games for the mass market (who are very fickle) You just have to look at what they did with Dragon age and DA2, DA2 is shallow Husk of the RPG of the 1st game. The gamers that angrily defended DA2 where no where to be seen to buy the DLC for DA2 (in masses any way)


Forum Posts: 5
Comment #34 by RDWatson16
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 03:22:16 PM
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dragon age franchise was amazing and hopefully will continue to be and mass effect was just as good if not better ending was fine so bioware keep up the good work as you are one of the best companies out there


Forum Posts: 210
Comment #35 by Sanchezz4387
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 03:40:24 PM
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@6 you nailed it on the head in the politest, most intelligent and mature way I could ever have hoped well done mate


Forum Posts: 469
Comment #36 by francisrossi
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 04:46:10 PM
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@18 - Makes no sense to buy Bioware, given they made their name with RPGs. Suppose they can whore the name out, as can be evidenced by "Bioware" studios gradually opening up that have fuck all to do with old Bioware.

As for EA being a business, yes they are. It doesn't, however, mean they have to aim to milk their customers for as much as possible. You can still be successful without doing that.


Forum Posts: 15
Comment #37 by BeheldBryan
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 06:01:40 PM
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Bioware as I used to know it has been dead for awhile now. EA needs to stick to sports games and leave everything else alone. They're the Bizarro World form of Midas. Everything they touch turns to shit (a little dramatic, but what the hell).


Forum Posts: 40
Comment #38 by TheRequiem95
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 06:26:47 PM
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That's nice. I'm still only going to buy EA games used so as to never give that company a dime. I hope Bioware breaks away someday (in addition to Maxis and Popcap). Maybe then I can buy their games at the retail premium again.


Forum Posts: 4
Comment #39 by Social Cancer
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 10:15:07 PM
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EA did ruin Bioware tho, Mass Effect and Dragon Age were great but the sequels were made for a larger audience to make more money, but it lost the magic those titles had. the star wars MMO was great tho, i thought it was really fun


Forum Posts: 25
Comment #40 by DarthTrakd
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 @ 04:28:56 AM
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I didn't hate the ending to mass effect 3, and the actual game was amazing. the only issue was that it was a bit of a let down, I mean litterally hundreds of hours of play and in the end we get 3 choices of colour.


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Game Info
Developer:
BioWare
Publisher:
Electronic Arts
Genre:

Release:

US March 06, 2012
Europe March 09, 2012

Collection:3474
Wishlist:612
 
 
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