BioWare once steered clear of sequels, but today the EA-owned company has a very different mindset.
"We think of our games now in our group as franchises," BioWare co-leader Ray Muzyka said yesterday at GDC. "We really do."
He went on to tell an audience (thanks Gamasutra) that "franchises include a lot more than just games" and may span books, comics and films. As such, BioWare has to think as far as a decade in advance of each game's launch.
This strategy was most evident with Dragon Age, a self-described franchise started by Origins last autumn but expected to run and run through expansions, sequels and considerable DLC.
A similar approach is now being taken with Mass Effect 2, which launched in late January and became one of the highest-rated games ever on Xbox 360 (it was also released on PC).
Muzyka said sequels not only make sense, but that the development teams have fun making them.
"If you're not going to take the innovativee risks that you need to, then yeah, you're setting yourself up to be in a death spiral, and that's a bad thing," he added. "You have to invest and innovate. That what's keeps sequels selling more."
"You gotta listen to fans. That's the most important thing you can do."
With Mass Effect 2 out of the door and Dragon Age expansion Awakening ready for launch next Tuesday, 16th March, BioWare still has Star Wars: The Old Republic - EA's "largest ever" project - and ME3 to think about.