The Death of Bioware

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Legendary Gamer, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Legendary Gamer

    Legendary Gamer Limp Gawd

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    This is an interesting read if anyone is interested, essentially outlining how development from Dragon Age to Mass Effect to Anthem was a cluster and then some resulting in games that were hits (DA 3) or dropped utterly (Andromeda) and now Anthem that will likely never see much more life than Andromeda (my guess):

    https://kotaku.com/how-biowares-anthem-went-wrong-1833731964
     
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  2. CAD4466HK

    CAD4466HK [H]ard|Gawd

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    Wow, interesting read and backstory that explains a lot.
     
  3. Shadow_Foxx

    Shadow_Foxx [H]Lite

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    Always sad to hear the decline of a studio that put out some great games over the years...Im looking at you KOTOR
     
  4. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I point out some of us revile DA3; it's literally a single-player MMO with far less combat options then other games in the series. I honestly don't see how anyone can like that monstrosity.
     
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  5. Denpepe

    Denpepe [H]ard|Gawd

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    Taste is personal, there are at least 20 highly acclaimed super succesfull games I would not be caught dead playing but to each their own. The sad thing is that a lot of these so called bad games are not that bad, they were just rushed to meet deadlines.

    There has to be some middleground between rushingt hings and (trying) to fix later and doing what 3Drealms did with DNF (which in the end also resulted in a lousy game). These mega publishers need learn to allow to let the creative types make great games while also keeping things to some realistic schedule.
     
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  6. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The first thing they can do is once a concept is decided on to stop meddling and changing things over and over again. Remember, DNF was basically done before they decided to move to Unreal, and then they felt they needed to add MORE stuff in order to keep up with current games, and it just never ended.
     
  7. Legendary Gamer

    Legendary Gamer Limp Gawd

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    It was a commercial success and praised but... Yeah, I can't stand it. After running a number of character builds I gave up. I think I never finished that one. I had some elven Archer that was just slaughtering everything with his bow while my entire party was dead. After killing something like 3-4 dragons in a single fight, alone, I put the game down and never went back.
     
  8. Legendary Gamer

    Legendary Gamer Limp Gawd

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    What's sad, to me, is that after DA3 they should have known, then they flushed the mass effect franchise down the toilet and that should have been a wakeup call for them. Only to go on to Anthem and do the same, exact thing...

    I've been saying it for a while, Bioware is dead. EA needs to shutter Edmonton and roll their better than thou staff into one division, Austin. There needs to be a single studio, with a single focus. I'm not talking fixing anthem. The game requires a full reset, and a ground up re-engineer.

    They need to do something right, keep Casey and tie his ass to a command chair until they release something that works. Or end it all. I don't think I will ever see a beloved Mass Effect game that feels right in my lifetime. The original Dragon Age was epic, the ones that followed.. not so much in my opinion.

    Who knows. Amazingly, EA didn't really Jack their last couple games up other than than force the frostbite engine. However, iirc Bioware had the option to not use frostbite for ME:A and I'm sure a lot of people missed that .

    Edit: Apparently, Edmonton wasn't forced to use Frostbite either . Jesus... Bioware pretty much screwed themselves into the ground almost three times now. I don't think there's any redemption in that studio unless, now after 3 games they kept the tools to build their games with in frostbite. Honestly, either they switch to unreal or push another frostbite game out... But if they somehow survive this latest cluster, next game is the make or break point and I'm not buying it until Kotaku digs deep.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  9. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    About time. Bioware has been in a coma for over a decade.
     
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  10. NoOther

    NoOther [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yeah, I liked both DA1 and DA2, but 3 was just a disaster to me. It is the same with ME, 1 and 2 were great, 3 was a bit of a pile. Andromeda was actually a little better than it is given credit for, the bugs really killed it initially.
     
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  11. Rifter0876

    Rifter0876 [H]Lite

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  12. purple_monster

    purple_monster Limp Gawd

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    its a sad time when Neverwinter Nights 2002 is considered a "classic" and gets remastered edition. That game was whack but great in comparison to their new stuff.
     
  13. Mchart

    Mchart 2[H]4U

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    If Bioware would have focused their efforts in the last 6 years just on a single game - Anthem OR Andromeda, rather than both, I think they could have released an amazing product.

    The issue was that they split resources down the middle, and flip flopped developers between both games resulting in half baked products.
     
  14. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Even Andromeda was a much better game than DA3.
     
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  15. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    Not always possible. Sometimes things simply don't work when taken from conceptual to development. It could come down to tech limitations (various game engines or simply hardware), the concept simply not being fun, sometimes something sound great on paper but ends up not meshing with the rest of the design ideas. Anthem is an extreme case, for sure, but often times things get left "on the cutting room floor" with games when a concept does not work out for one reason or another. The thing with flight being put in and taken out a lot during development isn't even unique to Anthem or games that end up as messy as Anthem. The biggest problem with Anthem wasn't changing concepts, it was that the leadership had no idea what kind of game they wanted to make. They couldn't decide on concepts in order to get going. Everything was stuck in pre-production because no one was saying "this is the kind of game we're making, these on the conceptual ideas we want, get to it", instead they were left rudderless.

    The vanilla campaign for NWN was kind of meh, but it had some excellent expansions and the module creator was fucking amazing.
     
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  16. braamer

    braamer [H]ard|Gawd

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    I couldn't believe how boring DA3 was after all the glowing reviews. It was a long, boring, dis-jointed single player MMO that I had to force myself to finish.

    Andromedra was great in comparison.
     
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  17. Legendary Gamer

    Legendary Gamer Limp Gawd

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    I half expect Bioware to drop Anthem cold like they did Andromeda. After the "team" of like 3 guys patched the crap out of the game post launch, the experience got much better. It actually felt like mass effect and all the internet hatred and memes seemingly killed it. But make no mistake, EA made money on it. More than even Anthem and yet Andromeda is sitting in a rubbish pile now and Anthem is still being actively supported by the Austin team.

    The fact that Edmonton immediately started work on DA4 sort of disgusts me. If Bioware actually gave a shit about the fans they would go back and salvage Andromeda and actually release some damn dlc for it. I'm just sick of backing them, I used to love what they released but player choice hasn't existed in their games since ME2 (player choice that actually mattered). It was pretty much thrown out in ME3, DA2 player choice was all linear with couple different endings. DA3 I couldn't even bring myself to finish.

    EA needs to compact the studio into one location and have them focus on one damn project at a time. Otherwise they need to be shuttered and just rolled into other departments at EA.
     
  18. profiled

    profiled Limp Gawd

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  19. Auer

    Auer Limp Gawd

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    I can't wait for Kotaku to bring more attention to the conditions of the workers in the Chinese factories that supply all the gaming hardware next.

    It's going to be great.
     
  20. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    Bioware head Casey Hudson apparently sent an internal email to employees addressing the Kotaku article. He acknowledged the problems the article brought up and tells employees that he is working to fix them. He further says that he knew about them when he was asked to return to Bioware and has been working on the issues since coming back. Further, Hudson states that the reason Bioware didn't participate in the article was because parts of it singled out specific employees and that is "unfair and extremely traumatizing" (what a crock of shit).

    https://kotaku.com/bioware-boss-addresses-studio-issues-vows-to-continue-1833802608
     
  21. zamardii12

    zamardii12 2[H]4U

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    Bunch of bullshit. It's not like this is a enormous issue that takes months let-alone years to fix. Just give people more time to work on their shit, but most importantly have a solid plan in order and stick to it. Yes changes can be made and are normal, but they are addressing the workflow in the wrong ways. If they don't do something quick they are going to lose what very little hope they have left of ever being relevant again... you can't ride the success of Mass Effect 1-3 for forever and if they don't change something soon they'll die like all the other EA studios that have been bought and perished like before. Bioware is the one of the few game developers I want to succeed, and I don't want to not see a return to the Mass Effect universe again because of this bullshit.
     
  22. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    Its high-level corporate problems, everything takes forever to "fix". Though it does sound like changes that were made late into Anthem's development, pulling the producer from Dragon Age 4 so he could lead Anthem's development and sacking Aaron Flynn for Casey Hudson, did a lot of good. It was just too little, too late and EA wasn't willing to delay the game further to give it time.
     
  23. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Actually taking anthem to the level of an actual finished game they could be proud of would take many months or at least a year. And there is no way in hell they're gonna spend that time on an already failed product. As time passes anthem will only make less money, not more. The best thing they can do is assigning a skeleton crew on anthem and put it on life support. And actually try to make DA4 into a decent game before EA says it goes out 2020 march.
     
  24. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I couldn't get into Dragon Age Inquisition. I tried, but I had to force myself through the first couple of hours and then I gave up on it.
     
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  25. zamardii12

    zamardii12 2[H]4U

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    Same here! I have tried no less than 3 times to play it and I just get bored with it a couple hours in. I tried to REALLY push through last time but I just couldn't do it. Shame too b/c it seems like it could be fun but it just didn't stick.
     
  26. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    From what I've heard talking to fans of this game, you have to get out of the starting area and into the rest of the game. After that it gets really good. My thing is, if a game doesn't grab me in the first hour or two it probably never will. To me, the game design is a bad one if the starting area is that awful and tedious that it would drive players to simply drop the game that quickly.
     
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  27. LightsOut41

    LightsOut41 Limp Gawd

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    You could easily sub-out "EA" and "Frostbite" for "CIG" and "CryEngine" in this article and come up with the exact same story to tell.
     
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  28. Q-BZ

    Q-BZ [H]ard as it Gets

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    And now this: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/04/opinion/video-games-layoffs-union.html
     
  29. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Except Anthem is still 10x more finished than Star Citizen, or the vaporware SQ42.
     
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  30. spine

    spine 2[H]4U

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    Seems to me that the blame can be put firmly on the decision to force everyone in EA to use Frostbite. All the problems stemmed from that one decision.
     
  31. Legendary Gamer

    Legendary Gamer Limp Gawd

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    Except the fact that in the case of both Andromeda and Anthem the devs had the option to use a different engine, or so reports on both titles have gone.

    The blame is on the shade of what Bioware once was on both titles. 4-5 years of dicking around with no game, no story and no vision and a 12-18 month crunch at the end releasing two very broken games on launch. The same can, actually be said of Inquisition as well. Except that game launched mostly playable.

    While the engine might be a PITA to use it doesn't explain or forgive a 7 year development cycle that produced a concept demo at E3 last year, that looks better than the released game, that only then did BW know what they were building and was touted as footage taken all in engine, in the final product. When, in fact, it was just a tech demo.

    The teams didn't even reuse code bases between games, shared nothing and rebuilt the games from the ground up. Which is almost impossible to believe since Anthem essentially feels like Andromeda .

    Bioware is a company of lies, hiding behind another company of lies.... They kept touting transparency and it was all a lie.
     
  32. Legendary Gamer

    Legendary Gamer Limp Gawd

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    Unions might work, honestly, programmers could then freely move between developers and their unions would be the talent pools game devs would hire from. No employee would be locked into anything that was detrimental to their health.

    IDK... I have known many unionized people and I've been one myself at one point and I've seen and heard both good and bad. Not sure that's even the answer. That won't teach management and companies anything about their shitty practices. If anything they will now have a disposable work force that can choose to strike and the devs will simply hire non union employees to step in and take their jobs... Lol
     
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  33. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I typically fucking hate unions, but the way game developers have been treated over the years is terrible. Even when things weren't this bad, it drove a lot of talent into other fields because they couldn't stand it. Back in the late 1990's or early 2000's, I used to know a lot of names I'd see scroll by in the end credits of games. No one I knew from back then works in the game industry anymore.
     
  34. Auer

    Auer Limp Gawd

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    Unions wouldn't change a thing for the better. The way Kapitalism works is to just simply move your production to another country with less basic human rights when faced with the threat of organized labour.
     
  35. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    That scenario isn't possible in the game industry.
     
  36. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Actually it is very easy in the games industry. And a lot of studios had or still have offices in low wage countries.
     
  37. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    There is a huge difference between having some offices in other countries and moving 100% of production over there.
     
  38. SOAREVERSOR

    SOAREVERSOR Limp Gawd

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    Yeah fucking over your works, delivering shitty products, and paying huge sums of money to the people at the top causing the failures is capitalism and the american way.
     
  39. Legendary Gamer

    Legendary Gamer Limp Gawd

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    The gaming industry is so damn profitable I doubt many publishing companies would risk their entire reputations on pushing game development to ultra poor countries. I could be wrong but I hope I'm not.

    If development is outsourced to low wage rate countries no one will ever want to go into this field of work, because there won't be jobs for it.

    The quest for money in the gaming industry amounts to pure greed and no desire to uplift the people that built that wealth. I'm not sure how labor laws are completely thrown out the window at these developing companies. At least in the US they seem somewhat effective , though I do see and hear about violations and not much is done because speaking up = no job. However, thats actually led to some successful lawsuits.

    I think what needs to happen is EA needs to be targeted for a massive lawsuit in defense of their developing staff. They probably also need to be targeted for lying to their consumer base and sued for it appropriately. Setting a precedent in the court system that this shit cannot and will not stand.

    See that pushed out to whatever countries back that lawsuit and do a little house cleaning. Maybe then, all the publishers will think twice about enslaving their staff and still releasing broken shit to their consumers and lying about the state it's in.
     
  40. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Nobody said that everything is outsourced, but still there were numerous games that were done there in their entirety. The unusual part is when a game is done at more than one studio. That has only become a practice recently with big publishers rushing research to the extreme.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019