Mass Effect • Page 3

"BioWare hates ports."

Eurogamer: You mentioned Dragon Age there, which has us excited like little children. What can you tell us about it?

Matt Atwood: The message with Dragon Age is that if you're an RPG player, or you're interested and want to try something new, Dragon Age will be what you have been wanting forever. It's going to be something that the fans of BioWare have been waiting for. It's very traditional in some ways, although there will be some new stuff of course. We're not giving out any other details except that it's coming out before the end of the fiscal year [before April 2009]. As with any BioWare game we believe that, and John [Riccitiello, EA super-boss] believes, you deliver a quality product no matter what. If that means you delay, then you delay. But we believe we're on track with it.

Eurogamer: It first showed its face in 2004. Was it put on hold to pursue things like Mass Effect, or have you been working on it consistently since then?

Matt Atwood: Certainly there are times with more resources and [times] with less resources; as you release Mass Effect you use up more of your talent. But it has been consistently worked on. When you make a statement like "this is the RPG that people have been waiting for", then you better back it up and you better spend a hell of a lot of time on it. I think we're going to be extremely proud and our fans are going to be extremely excited. And I think you'll hear more about it pretty quick.

Eurogamer: And that's PC-exclusive?

Matt Atwood: It is for the PC, but as far as exclusivity, we haven't said anything on that.

Eurogamer: Getting back to Mass Effect: how many copies did the 360 version sell?

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This is Dragon Age in concept form from 2004. If you hunt around on the Internet you can find some more recent scans.

Matt Atwood: Microsoft is a publicly traded company so I'll leave that question to them. We've been very pleased with the results is all I can tell you.

Eurogamer: Can you tell us a bit about the future of the Mass Effect series? Greg Zeschuk mentioned a couple of areas the game could be improved on recently, like side-quest integration in the main story and better auto-generated content for a "richer experience". What improvements would you like to see?

Matt Atwood: There's always improvements that you can make. There's a lot of interesting things that you could do, like looking at what you did in the first [game] and how that will affect the rest [of the series]. I can tell you, without really telling you anything, that people are going to be extremely captivated immediately by [Mass Effect 2]. The team has more experience and we've got the core technology in place, so we'll be making improvements across the board. The ideas that I've heard for Mass Effect 2 are stunning to me. I mean dramatically.

Eurogamer: Are Shepard and his crew going to be the centre-point of the series?

Matt Atwood: I actually don't know for sure. I've sort of heard some rumblings, but I can't say anything.

Eurogamer: What about things like multiplayer?

Matt Atwood: It's a good question, but another one I don't know the answer to. If the team wanted to do it then I think they could do it well. But Mass Effect is an experience that is very personal, because you make very personal choices. You choose whether you're going to explore that romance or explore that planet; are you going to save someone's life or are you going to kill them? And these are all things that are really personal. So is it possible? Sure, I think the team's smart enough to do it. But I don't know if they're going to do it.

Eurogamer: Before we go: Gary Gygax sadly passed away recently. You must have felt that loss very hard, given your Dungeons & Dragons roots. Did you do anything to remember him?

Matt Atwood: There was an email sent around within the company and a lot of people were discussing just how influential he was. A lot of respect was paid to him in the office. There's no question of how influential he was and it was a very sad thing to hear, but he'll continue to be an influence and that's the wonderful thing about great people.

Eurogamer: Just finally. Really actually finally. Do you have any plans for a PC demo of Mass Effect?

Matt Atwood: No. No demo. It would slow down development if we did one.

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