Posts Tagged ‘Bioware’

EA Thanks Loyal ME Fans’ Patience with Launch DLC… But You’ll Have to Pay for It.

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

EA Money Grubbing Jerks

"Well, if anyone previously doubted my motivations, this should clear things right up..."

I don’t think it should come as any surprise that I’d only break “radio silence” on the site to bitch…

But yeah, that’s what’s about to happen. Call it Fanboi rage or something.

Last night, my long wait for Mass Effect 3 finally came to an end. I’ve spent the last month or so playing and re-playing the ME3 demo and wrangled three friends into getting online and playing the multiplayer portion of the demo with me. I went back and played ME and ME2 just to try to get in a fix while I waited.

I’m not against waiting. I actually like when the anticipation builds to a fever pitch and most of the best things in life are worth waiting for. Maybe not all of them but most of them.

What does set my Rage Level to 11, however, is arriving to pick up my game, which, I might note, has been paid for in full since the first day the game was available for pre-order, and discovering there is already DLC being sold the night of the launch.

I have no idea what Electronic Arts was thinking. We’re not talking about some Day One patch that has to be downloaded before I can play but a DLC package that requires me to pay extra to have all of the content on the night of its launch. PAID DLC ON DAY ONE. Let that sink in for a second.

This is like going to the movies and shelling out the cash for your tickets, sitting through a movie you’ve been waiting to see, only to have the lights come on before the climatic ending, and being told that to see the end of the movie, it will be an extra five bucks.

Dirty pool, EA.

It gets better. A little research and Crutchboy discovers that the DLC we’re shelling out an extra $10 for is actually the extra content available with the Collector’s Edition. So now you’ve not just slapped the general gaming populace in the face by providing paid DLC on launch but you’ve also pretty much invalidated the extra content the Collector’s Edition folks were looking forward to enjoying while the rest of us waited for the day when the DLC was made available.

Sure, those who shelled out the extra cash for the CE probably get some physical goodies. Though based on my own lackluster experience with the CE of SWTOR, I can’t say the extra 20 bucks was worth an ME coffee mug or whatever EA packaged into the game since you’ve gone and made the extra content, the actual meat of what you were pitching to those interested in the Collector’s Edition, available to any poor schmuck who feels obligated to give you an extra ten bucks on launch day to make sure they’re not missing out on anything.

This is the end of “us”, EA. I’ve shelled out money for your titles and I’ve been a loyal fan of some of your games for years. You disappointed me when I found my last purchase of Madden to be the version I got the year before with an updated roster and a new coat of paint. You disappointed me when you started tying all of your in-game content to pre-orders of titles I had no interest in or on playing demos of games I really didn’t care to play.

You’ve made some good decisions in the past few years, namely the purchase of BioWare and all of the intellectual property that entailed, but you’ve made some glaring mistakes that I’m finding harder and harder to ignore. Offering me paid DLC on the night of the launch of one of the most anticipated titles on my very short list is the final straw.

You’re not getting any more money from me. Oh, I’ll continue to play the titles I’ve already purchased but I won’t be purchasing any new games or any further DLC from you. I won’t be pre-ordering any more games, giving you the excuse to artificially inflate your sales numbers by counting pre-orders as full sales in the present fiscal quarter.

More importantly to me, though I doubt you’ll notice, will be my silence in regards to any of your new titles. I won’t talk about them, write about them, or recommend them to friends.

And sadly, that means I won’t be purchasing anything else your genius step-child, BioWare, produces in the future because you’ve taken a brilliant product line and applied your ever shadier business model to it.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Bioware gurus make it into Hall of Fame

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Drs. Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk

(Gamasutra) – The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences is inducting BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk into its hall of fame, and the pair will speak at AIAS’ 2011 D.I.C.E. event.

The BioWare Doctors make the 14th and 15th inductees to the AIAS Hall of Fame, marking the first time the honorees have been a pair rather than an individual. According to AIAS, Muzyka and Zeschuk were chosen for “their emotionally engaging and detailed cinematic games,” which include Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age and other respected titles.

Epic Games president Mike Capps will present the award to the pair at February 10, 2011′s Annual Interactive Achievement Awards at the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas.

Muzyka and Zeschuk attended medical school, where collaborating on education projects like “Acid Base Physiology Simulator” and “Gastroenterology Patient Simulator” led them toward a career in game development; they formed relationships with programmers and game designers and founded BioWare.

Muzyka is described as an “avid poker enthusiast” who won the D.I.C.E. Summit’s traditional poker tournaments in 2006 and 2010, among other distinctions in the game business.

Conversely, Zeschuk is described as being interested in “gourmet food, music and fine beer (in no particular order of importance).” Both are also directors and co-chairmen at interface software company CodeBaby.

“We’re truly honored to represent our teams of passionate, hard-working, creative staff across the BioWare Group within Electronic Arts, and they all share this award with us,” says Muzyka. “Driving BioWare’s success past, present and future are the amazing family of people we have been privileged to work with over the years and our shared core values of quality in our workplace, quality in our products, and entrepreneurship in a context of humility and integrity.”

[Full article at Gamasutra.com]

Mass Effect Movie

Friday, June 4th, 2010

(Hollywood Reporter) – Legendary Pictures has picked up rights to “Mass Effect,” the Electronic Arts-BioWare video game. Mark Protosevich, the scribe who wrote “I Am Legend” and worked on “Thor,” is in talks to pen the movie, which will be produced by Avi and Ari Arad as well as Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni.

“Mass,” which debuted in 2008, is an epic sci-fi action game set in the year 2183, focusing on a human soldier and his starship, the SSV Normandy. The galaxy-spanning story involves a long-extinct race of aliens, dormant beacons and more alien species than you can shake a lightsaber at.

The project is still in the early stages of development, though any game-to-screen undertaking would require a massive commitment. So far, humans vs. aliens movies have tended to be set on Earth, which makes those films easier to shoot while making them relatable for mass audiences.

One of the by-products of the success of “Avatar” has been showing that moviegoers will follow and invest themselves in non-human characters if given a reason to, which opens the door for more alien movies.

The players involved all have experience in undertaking giant-sized production. Legendary’s credits include co-producing such tentpoles as “The Dark Knight,” “300” and the recent “Clash of the Titans” remake. Avi Arad is the former chairman of Marvel Studios, whose Arad Prods. is developing a feature film version of video game “Drake’s Fortune.”

CAA-repped Protosevich is known for his large-scope sci-fi work. In addition to “Legend” and “Thor,” the scribe worked on remakes of “Stranger in a Strange Land” and “The Bride of Frankenstein,” both still in development at their respective studios, and is writing the English-language translation of “Old Boy” for Mandate.

Tull called “Effect” “ripe for translation,” saying it had “depth, compelling characters and an engaging back story.” Arad described the game as “a parable whose conflicts mirror the ones we currently face in our own world. This story emphasizes the need for all cultures to learn to work together.”

Casey Hudson, who exec produced the game series, said BioWare always “thought ‘Mass Effect’ was perfectly suited to be a motion picture,” while Pat O’Brien of UTA-repped EA said the game was seen early on as having cross-over potential by EA Entertainment, whose mission is to take key EA titles and develop new ways to expand their audience.

“Effect” will fall under Legendary’s co-production and co-financing agreement with Warner Bros., who will distribute the film worldwide.

BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk will serve as executive producers, as will Hudson.

Star Wars: TOR a no-go, no show for the Xbox 360

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

"Star Wars for Xbox? Let's shoot that one down before it gets too out of hand..."

Well, now that we’ve played our April Fool’s day prank and gotten it out of the way, we have some bad news for our Xbox fans… Real news, we promise. On Monday of this week, video game news site VG247 reportedly got their hands on a release list for a British gaming retailer. On that list was an Xbox 360 version of Star Wars: The Old Republic listed as “To Be Confirmed” in 2011. And there was much rejoicing.

Unfortunately, the rumor was quashed rather quickly (like same day quick) by Bioware’s message board community manager Sean Dahlberg via the Bioware forums who stated that while they “recognize that there are other operating systems and platforms available for games today” the company was focused solely on producing and releasing a version for the Microsoft Windows Operating system and that the release list was an outright mistake in regards to SW:TOR. Sounds pretty final? Perhaps.

Dahlberg’s exact wording in regards to the software development being exclusive to the Windows operating system was “at this time”. And as Matt Peckham of PC World’s website points out, they’re not exactly ruling out the possibility of an Xbox version, they’re just saying it ain’t happening any time soon.

Sadly, MMOs just don’t seem to market well on consoles. My theory is that once a game gets beyond the need for only a controller, most console users lose interest. It’s a theory and an opinion so don’t go getting your console panties in a knot. It’s just as likely that the companies producing said MMOs simply don’t care to try and apply updates to console hard drives. Considering the sometimes limited space, the fact that many console fans don’t like the idea of patching games on a regular basis, and the simple fact that past MMOs have been poorly received for the most part, it’s a gamble I imagine many companies just don’t want to take.

So, for now, apparently, the Force remains strong only with the PC.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

[Source]

Game Review: Mass Effect 2

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Mass Effect 2, like its predecessor, scores a Busy Gamer 1

First Glance:
Bioware’s sequel to one of my favorite games ever. ‘Nuff said.

The Short Story:
Bioware has, in my opinion, a hit and miss history with sequels. I was not fond of the sequel to Baldur’s Gate but I was completely taken with the “addons” for Neverwinter Nights. So it was with some trepidation, and no small amount of excitement, that I dove into Mass Effect 2. There’s another huge game to be told here with some of the best voices in the industry, graphics that far outshine its predecessor, and a substantial universe to explore… again.

The Score:
If you read my review of Mass Effect, you know I loved the game. The only problem was that it was not Busy Gamer friendly in the least. A single playthrough could be accomplished in roughly ten hours but you were robbing yourself of one of the best game experiences you could have. The same holds true for the sequel. With the changes to the exploration portion of the game, you could easily invest several hours a day to gathering resources and finishing side missions without ever touching on the main story. As such, I’m forced to give Mass Effect 2 our lowest rating, a 1.

Body of review:
To say that I was addicted to Mass Effect would be an understatement. I had five complete playthroughs and a ton of different classed Shepherds to my credit when I finally took the disc out of my 360. I invested over a hundred hours and it was the only game to date for which I actually wanted all of the achievements. I’m telling you this because my expectations for Mass Effect 2 were the highest I’ve ever had for a sequel. Some aspects of the game failed to meet my expectations, others exceeded them. I’m going to start with the bits that disappointed me…

First, there was an overhaul to the weapons system. While the first game’s method of having to skill up in each weapon individually could be frustrating at times, I became used to it and actually enjoyed the process as I proceeded. The bonuses for excelling in a weapon felt earned and I had to learn to compensate for my characters low skill in a particular weapon which I felt to take additional skill. Anyone low skilled in a sniper rifle will tell you it took timing and patience to take down a target when you first got started. However, the ability to use any weapon in the game that your class is able to use is somewhat refreshing.

A skilled assassin and a tattooed biotic psycho as teammates... Behind me. I am a brave man.

Then there is the lack of “loot” in the game. Constantly on the lookout for better armor and weapons in the first game was something of a habit before too long into the story. My OCD lead me to try and get the same “skinned” armor for each member of my squad and I was constantly shuffling items to avoid having to convert items to Omni-gel. The ability to purchase new pieces for Shepherd and customizing the look of the armor is a nice touch but I miss decking out my team members in matching armor to look more like a squad.

(more…)

Did Bioware tame down Mass Effect 2? Dev says no.

Friday, February 12th, 2010
Bioware claims no scenes were pulled from Mass Effect 2

Bioware claims no scenes were pulled from Mass Effect 2

(Kotaku.com) – Mass Effect 2′s tamer sex scenes led some to believe that BioWare held something back, after the 2008 uproar over Mass Effect started by the Network That Must Not Be Named. But a dev sternly denies that charge.

User Menelaos1971 opened a forum thread on the subject, calling the sex scene in Mass Effect 1 “a step in the right direction for Rated M games,” but implied that the uninformed uproar over it chilled BioWare’s intent to extend the theme in the sequel. He also alleged that BioWare was given orders from EA that an M for violence was OK, but not nudity, because it might affect sales. “Or was it just EA lawyers,” Menelaos1972 wrote.

Stanley Woo, a member of the QA story team for the game, replied forcefully:

“It’s kinda funny that this topic keeps coming up over and over again. People who claim to be old enough and mature enough to handle sex and nudity in a game seem to believe that any lack of sex and nudity in the game is a sign of self-censorship. They generally don’t believe that a game can be called “mature” without explicit sex and/or nudity.

Let me tell you, folks, that as a developer full of mature individuals, we are also free to not have explicit sex and/or nudity in our games, no matter what you, Fox News, the government, or Bunky the Wonder Clown has to say about it. We have never considered it a “problem,” it is simply a choice we have made and we have every right to make that choice.”

Mass Effect Redemption Sells Out!

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Redemption bridges the gap between ME1 & ME2!

(Press Release) – Following up on last week’s news of the explosive first issue of Mass Effect: Redemption disappearing out of stores across the country, Dark Horse and EA announce that the series’ second issue will be reprinted as well.

Mass Effect: Redemption tells the exciting back-story that led up to the events of Mass Effect 2, the recently released video game developed by the award-winning creative team at BioWare. The game’s lead writer Mac Walters takes up the pen to give fans exclusive insight into the events that unfolded between the conclusion of the original Mass Effect, and the beginning of Mass Effect 2. Scripted by John Jackson Miller (Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, The Invincible Iron Man) and drawn by Omar Francia (Star Wars Legacy), this four-part series explores the exotic and dangerous future Milky Way of Mass Effect, revealing previously unseen locations, aliens, and enemies of this rich science fiction landscape.

The Mass Effect trilogy is an epic science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets. In Mass Effect 2, players will step into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, commanding a crew of the most dangerous operatives from across the galaxy on a mission so challenging that it’s potentially suicidal. Featuring intense shooter action, a rich futuristic storyline, stunning space exploration and emotionally engaging characters, the game delivers an unparalleled cinematic experience. Mass Effect 2 was released on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC on January 26, 2010 in North America and January 29, 2010 in Europe and has been rated ‘M’ for Mature by the ESRB and ‘18+’ by PEGI (please visit www.esrb.org and www.pegi.eu for more information on ratings). For more news from the development team, please follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/masseffect2 or visit the game’s official website at www.masseffect.bioware.com.

“We knew we had something special on our hands with Mass Effect” said Dark Horse Director of Public Relations, Jeremy Atkins. “Even still, watching this series sell out issue by issue is exciting, indeed!”

For those who have yet to read the explosive first issue, it is also currently available for download on iTunes for just 99 cents.

Mass Effect: Redemption is the fifth title to arrive in Dark Horse’s ever-growing stable of comics available on the iPhone platform. Other titles available now include Gerard Way’s smash hit Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, Terminator: Death Valley, and multiple titles the critically acclaimed line of Star Wars comics.

DARK HORSE AND EA ANNOUNCE MASS EFFECT : REDEMPTION

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Mass Effect : Redemption

THE YEAR’S MOST ANTICIPATED NEW COMIC SERIES EXPLODES OFF OF THE PAGE AND ONTO YOUR iPHONE!

(Press Release) – Tomorrow, the year’s most anticipated video game Mass Effect 2 is released nationwide. In celebration, Dark Horse and Electronic Arts Inc. announced that the comic will be released to the iPhone mobile comics platform.

Mass Effect: Redemption tells the exciting back-story that led up to the events of Mass Effect 2, the eagerly anticipated video game developed by the award-winning creative team at BioWare. The game’s lead writer Mac Walters takes up the pen to give fans exclusive insight into the events that unfolded between the conclusion of the original Mass Effect, and the beginning of Mass Effect 2. Scripted by John Jackson Miller (Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, The Invincible Iron Man) and drawn by Omar Francia (Star Wars Legacy), this four-part series explores the exotic and dangerous future Milky Way of Mass Effect, revealing previously unseen locations, aliens, and enemies of this rich science fiction landscape.

The Mass Effect trilogy is an epic science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets. In Mass Effect 2, players will step into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, commanding a crew of the most dangerous operatives from across the galaxy on a mission so challenging that it’s potentially suicidal. Featuring intense shooter action, a rich futuristic storyline, stunning space exploration and emotionally engaging characters, the game delivers an unparalleled cinematic experience. Mass Effect 2 is scheduled for release on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC on January 26, 2010 in North America and January 29, 2010 in Europe and has been rated ‘M’ for Mature by the ESRB and ‘18+’ by PEGI (please visit www.esrb.org and www.pegi.eu for more information on ratings). For more news from the development team, please follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/masseffect2 or visit the game’s official website at www.masseffect.bioware.com.

“We’ve been trying to figure out a way to not only profit from these new technologies, but to use them in a way that it would drive customers into the stores of our loyal retailers” said Dark Horse Director of Communications, Dirk Wood. “We came up with the idea of this staggered release in hopes of accomplishing just that.”

Mass Effect: Redemption is the fifth title to arrive in Dark Horse’s ever-growing stable of comics available on the iPhone platform. Other titles available now include Gerard Way’s smash hit Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, Terminator: Death Valley, and multiple titles the critically acclaimed line of Star Wars comics. The first issue will hit iTunes February 3rd, just in time for the release of second issue of the series.

For more information, please visit www.darkhorse.com/Features/Mobile.

Mass Effect 2, free DLC for lunch. We mean launch.

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Mass Effect 2, which launches January 26, will be buzzing with tons of additional content in 2010 (to add even further to the game’s immenseness). Xbox Live has noted that we can expect to see several add on features in the marketplace such as “planned episodic combat via DLC,” weapon and armor packs, new downloadable characters for the “campaign experience,” new downloadable worlds, as well as “full campaign expansions for download.”

Also mentioned is that the game will carry “periodic updates,” which features DLC, via Mass Effect 2’s unannounced in-game “Cerberus Network.”

And to dazzle us fans a little bit more, posted via Bioware’s Twitter, the studio indicated there will be launch-day DLC and it won’t cost anything. Hear that? Not that any of us BusyGamers would even get around to loading up (or even you for that matter, ME2 is 2 discs HUGE) more content on day one of the launch, it’s should keep our science-fiction appetites well catered to for a good while.

Official Tweet: “Addressing rumors: BioWare will not be charging extra for any new Mass Effect 2 content on launch day. More DLC details next week.”

[Source]

Star Wars MMO delayed till spring 2011

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

(Gamespot) – BioWare has now confirmed that Star Wars: The Old Republic will not launch until early next year. “While we have not announced a specific date, we can confirm that we are targeting a spring 2011 release for Star Wars: The Old Republic,” said BioWare Austin community manager Sean Dahlberg in a forum post.

Dahlberg promised numerous updates on the game in 2010, as well as a beta-testing program. Those who wish to apply to be testers can sign up at www.swtor.com/tester.

In the meantime, to tide you over, check out the latest video in the SWTOR developers’ diary. -Poo Doo










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