‘EA gives you enough rope to hang yourself’
What happened to BioWare? That’s a question some fans have been wondering for years now. Speaking to GamesIndustry International, studio co-founder Greg Zeschuk reflected on Electronic Arts’ acquisition and how that impacted the company. “The best analogy I use, in a positive way, is EA gives you enough rope to hang yourself,” he said.
“It was really interesting because we really made all the choices we wanted to make ourselves; these are all things we wanted to try. And that’s something to remember — while we were independent we didn’t have quite the resources we had as part of EA, and then we got to EA and it was like ‘wow we can do all this stuff.’ We had to be really thoughtful about what we wanted to focus on.”
Zeschuk explained that BioWare “had complete creative control over a lot of it; some fans didn’t like some of it and some of it was experimental, quite frankly.” At the same time, “you have to be thinking of things that actually make you profitable. So while you’re taking all these creative risks in trying crazy stuff you almost have to simultaneously focus on the bottom line.”
Asked whether or not he would return to games after leaving BioWare to focus on The Beer Diaries, Zeschuk said that “I really don’t see myself making a brand-new game developer. I also don’t really see myself working for anyone else, at least in the traditional sense. But I can imagine myself, for example, being on a board, consulting. If a friend asked me to play a game, I would. I think advising and consulting is probably the limit for me.”
The Doctor is Out: Zeschuk on BioWare, EA and consoles’ uncertain future [GamesIndustry International]