Howdy Freelancers! Recently I noticed that an article from TheGamer was getting some serious traction, but I don’t totally agree with the general idea and wanted to offer a counterpoint.

The article in question is titled ‘EA is Going to Kill BioWare‘. As you could probably tell from my last In Response To article, I don’t enjoy massively sweeping negative statements that much. I also don’t think the gist of what this title says is that true, but I do get where TheGamer is coming from. So here’s my response.

EA Ruined Dragon Age 4

There’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes that we don’t know about, but I can’t deny that it sounds as if EA did destroy the original plan for Dragon Age 4, and the game we’re seeing BioWare work on now is something new. I also won’t deny that Fernando Melo left BioWare recently, meaning the project lost a Lead Producer.

However, I don’t think this necessarily means that EA has killed Dragon Age 4. We don’t know anything about the game yet, in fact the only trailer is entirely cinematic. There’s no gameplay to speak of right now, so I can’t say for sure that the series I know and love is dead. Until we get the game in our hands, as we did with Anthem, no judgement can be passed. I’m willing to hold out hope until then, and you should too.

EA is Going to Kill BioWare

I have to admit that I’m almost aligned to the same point of view as TheGamer with this one, but not quite. The article goes through in some incredibly precise detail about how EA has systematically killed studios that have worked under them on some great series. Bullfrog and Maxis were two incredible studios that disappeared, but they were absorbed by EA for the most part. The Sims and Sim City survived, but I won’t defend them in saying that they did a good job with Sim City. Cities: Skylines is the best new city builder on the market, and it’s killed any hopes EA should have for the future of Sim City. However, it’s undeniable that EA has pushed forward to do a fantastic job with the Sims series in general.

The disappearance of Westwood Studios is a wound I’ve never recovered from. However, I don’t think that EA did such a bad job with their IPs. The only real example of EA killing a studio that I can see in the article is Visceral Games, the studio behind the Dead Space franchise. you could see the team’s creativity in the first entry, and when it did well you could see EA overstep more and more, until they crushed it with Dead Space 3. EA dissolved Visceral Games and absorbed some of the staff, but you can’t deny that they killed the series by forcing in multiplayer and microtransactions.

My Take: EA Can’t Kill BioWare

The bottom line for me is that BioWare is an entity that has too many fans across too many franchises to be killed by EA. EA might not enjoy the fact that the last Mass Effect game was considered awful, and the last Dragon Age game wasn’t as well received as the first, but they also can’t stop producing games for the space that BioWare occupies.

BioWare make narrative-driven RPGs with a depth seen in very few other games. Those that emulate them are considered poor copies, and even this year we’re only just seeing a game that might compete with the likes of Dragon Age in Greedfall. I love BioWare games, and I’ll always play them, even if the reviews are bad. I think you can only judge a game from your favourite developer if you play it, because even if you can see the flaws, you might still enjoy it and work around them.

IO Interactive were nearly crushed by Square Enix when Hitman 2016 didn’t sell as well as they needed it to. However, IO Interactive has a brand, and their fans loved it. No other games provided sandbox assassination games quite like Hitman, and when they did they were just poor comparisons. That’s why they were able to get the funds to go independent. Now they’re working on Hitman 2 and a new game, as well as Hitman 3.

I could see EA not wanting to continue publishing BioWare games after Anthem this year. I think the bad press hurt them too much to make them want to persevere. However, I think BioWare would have no problem getting the money together to go independent, and make the games we all want them to.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

In Response To is an article series in which I respond to some of the articles that have been posted about Anthem. Not all of them are negative, I just like discussing things around this game and thought this series was a perfect opportunity to do that. I want to make it totally clear that I hold no anger or otherwise negative feelings to the websites that these articles are posted on, or the writers and others involved. I just love a good debate.

Image Source: Culture of Gaming

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