BioWare Doctors talk EA Louse, Mass Effect 3, SWTOR • Page 2

Plus: nobody wants the next generation yet.

Eurogamer: Mass Effect 3 is a confirmed game.

Greg Zeschuk: We haven't officially announced it.

Ray Muzyka: That might have been what I was talking about. There's a whole range of different things. My answer didn't say anything about DLC. We just haven't announced anything on Mass for the future.

Eurogamer: When will you make some noise about Mass Effect 3?

Ray Muzyka: We have said it's a trilogy, so it's a good guess there's a third one coming. Beyond that, we haven't announced it yet.

Eurogamer: When will you announce it?

Ray Muzyka: Some time.

Greg Zeschuk: On the right day we'll announce it.

Ray Muzyka: Next up we have Mass Effect 2 on PS3. That's our next focus for Mass Effect.

Eurogamer: When will Star Wars: The Old Republic be out?

Ray Muzyka: Next year.

Eurogamer: Can you at least say whether it'll be the first half or the second half of the year?

Ray Muzyka: No. We're just saying 2011.

Eurogamer: EA Louse. When you first read it, what was your immediate reaction?

Greg Zeschuk: We're disappointed in the sense of someone having that unfortunate perspective. That's how I would describe it.

Ray Muzyka: It was sad to read that kind of stuff. We just won a top 100 employers award for BioWare. We invest a lot in quality of the workplace. It's really important to us. We take it seriously. The BioWare Mythic team is part of the BioWare group. I know the people that work there. They care. They feel the same way that the other leaders across BioWare and EA feel.

Talking about BioWare specifically, we invest a lot in that. That's one of our core values. We do a lot of things to try and make sure people are taken care of. That's our approach and it's unwavering and it's steadfast. We're committed to that.

That kind of stuff we don't respond to rumours and speculation by people that are ill-informed. We're committed to quality in the workplace.

Eurogamer: My feeling was it had a degree of credibility.

Ray Muzyka: It's hard to know what their speculative motivation is. It's hard to speculate on that. It's rumour.

Eurogamer: So you don't consider it to have been from someone who works for EA?

Greg Zeschuk: How do you know? The reality of it is when you take an anonymous space it's like, you don't really know where it's from. Regardless, we're always focused on making the best possible workplace. That kind of stuff doesn't really come into play for us whatever crazy online communication.

We try to focus on making a great place to work, making great products. But you never know. If it's anonymous, there's no proof of anything. You can claim anything, right?

Eurogamer: To me it read as if there was a degree of inside knowledge. It felt credible to me.

Ray Muzyka: The way we like to respond to actual feedback is we act on it. We meet with staff at every studio on a regular basis, and we try to describe some of the things we do to achieve quality in the workplace.

I do this and all the GMs at every location do this. We sit down and do an open forum with all the employees and get feedback from them. We welcome one-on-one feedback. When we get stuff we can improve and act on we do it.

Rumours and speculation delivered in an anonymous fashion it's really hard to respond to that. So we don't. Instead we focus on every day making the workplace a great place for all the people we work with. We're committed to that.

Eurogamer: EA Louse talked about how much The Old Republic has cost to make. How much of a risk is it? Is it financially a massive risk?

Ray Muzyka: It's a tremendous opportunity. It's a big bet, but it's the right kind of bet to make for EA. It's the right kind of bet for BioWare to make. It's taking everything we know from the last 15 to 20 years of development experience and place some amazing people onto the team, with MMO experience as well as RPG experience.

The team is a group I'm really proud of. They're working really hard to deliver this great game. It's got a lot of content. It's taking the best of features from other products like MMOs and putting them together with something BioWare's known for: the story, choice and consequence, but not losing anything in the translation - exploration, combat, customisation, progression.

So in that sense it's really a smart decision. It's a pretty good bet for a studio group like BioWare to be building right now. We see it as more opportunity than anything else.

Greg Zeschuk: Hey, entertainment's risky by nature. You put out an album, sometimes it's successful, sometimes it's not.

We're bringing to bear an incredible amount of talent and focus on something that also happens to be the biggest brand in the world. Everything works out, we're all pretty happy.

Eurogamer: Has it got a genuine shot at actually challenging World of Warcraft?

Ray Muzyka: We don't talk about the competition that much. We play all our competitors' games. We have great respect for all of them. Blizzard is a group we have a lot of respect for. They do great work.

We're not worried about the competition because we're striving to make the very best games of their type when they come out. We have a great licence, a great partnership with LucasArts. Star Wars, it's pretty popular. A lot of people like that. We're embracing that licence fully. We love it. And we know millions and millions of people out there love this universe, and we're delivering a great game experience in that universe.

And it's a great BioWare type experience in a massively multiplayer space in a Star Wars setting. Those seem to be some pretty good factors that have set us up for massive success. Beyond that, we just build the best game we can.

We're certainly making a game that has a lot of value long-term and it's going to be a great experience for fans who love Star Wars or BioWare games or MMOs generally or just a great online experience with their friends.

Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk are the co-founders of BioWare.

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