BioWare Strength Led to Success Inside EA, Says Greg Zeschuk
Other big studios have been dismantled by the publisher
Many fans believed that developer BioWare would be restructured or shut down after it was acquired by publisher Electronic Arts, but one of the main executives who worked at the company believes that the team instead succeeded because of its inner strength.Greg Zeschuk, former creative officer at the RPG group inside EA and a co-founder of BioWare, tells Polygon that, “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.”
He adds, “We needed to be strong to survive that and I think we did and you evolve from that as well.”
Electronic Arts has had a reputation for picking up independent developers, like Pandemic and Bullfrong, and then closing them down because they failed to adapt to its corporate culture and video game development priorities.
Instead, BioWare has thrived after being acquired and has become the de facto division inside the publisher dealing with role-playing games and MMO content.
The history of BioWare includes such great series as Baldur’s Gate, The Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights, as well as solitary launches like Jade Empire.
After the studio was acquired by Electronic Arts, it created two huge franchises, the fantasy-based Dragon Age and the science fiction grounded Mass Effect.
A separate team inside BioWare has also created the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, which is still being supported with events and extra content.
The founders of BioWare, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, announced their departure from the company in 2012.
The pair are currently spending time with their families and pursuing other hobbies, but they have not ruled out returning to video game development in the future.