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Default Dragon Age 2 - Ray Muzyka Interview @ Eurogamer

June 19th, 2011, 15:12
Eurogamer talked with Ray Muzyka, one of the founders of Bioware. Here's two bits from the interview, first one about the DLC:
"We have some new DLC that's upcoming that's going to try and address some of the comments and try and provide the fans with the things they're looking for, both the core fans and the new fans…
And then something about how innovative it was:
"We think it was innovative. We're proud of the risks the team took. We think it's the right direction for the franchise. We also think there's an opportunity to listen to the core fans who loved Dragon Age: Origins to make sure they're with us on the journey going forward.
As you might remember Frank Gibeau, President of EA Games, had something similar to say earlier this week.
Thanks to Brockololly in this thread at Bioware DA2 forums for help in finding this.
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June 19th, 2011, 15:12
Good luck with theyr "innovations", hope they wont get burned like with DA 2.

Not lerning from own mistakes is a bad habbit.

English is not my Home language so excuse me if i make some gramer mistakes or write sometimes bit conffusing
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June 19th, 2011, 15:20
try and provide the fans with the things they're looking for, both the core fans and the new fans…
I don't know why the people in Bioware don't want to accept it's nearly impossible to do this. You can't please everyone at the same time. Core fans ( as we know them ) want something, new fans ( again, as we know them ) want something exactly opposite of that.
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June 19th, 2011, 15:34
I am not sure of the lessons trying to be taught to Bioware in threads like this, DA 2 was a very successful game from a sales standpoint (and a good game in my opinion, better than DA 1 even though I am a hardcore RPG fan from back to the days of Wizardry 1) and the lessons they are learning are to keep doing what they are doing, i.e. keep furthering their successful artistic/commercial vision.

Telling Bioware that they should learn from their failures and trying to use DA 2 as an example of that is really quite silly in my opinion.
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June 19th, 2011, 15:51
Well successful or not doesn't excuse the flaws in the game. They know they split the fan-base a little and are trying to sound like they will listen to feedback.

You cant find a middle ground when both sides have different views. The game while not bad I excepted better from a triple AAA developer and they didn't deliver.

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June 19th, 2011, 17:00
Incidentally, how much did DA2 sell? Any non-vgchartz data out there?
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June 19th, 2011, 17:11
They lost me as a customer due to DA2
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June 19th, 2011, 17:23
They want to adress [this at] "core fans" and new fans.

Which would or could imply that it didn't sell as expected - because otherwuise it'd be relatively easy to "alienate" the "core fans".

On the other fans, it could also merely mean that the "core fans" are nowadays kind of a "vocal minority" they just don't want to "dis-please", because it'd be heard from them. Like fanatics, who are able to do just ANYTHING.

From that perspective it'd ber better to have no fans at all …

No fans= no risk …

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June 19th, 2011, 17:28
Core fans have always been a vocal minority. It has been common understanding for at least 10 years - if not longer - that devs should not put much value into unfiltered fan feedback. Fans are loud but they more often than not simply don't know what they're talking about (from a professional perspective), meaning that they're often not capable of explaining clearly what exactly they (dis)like and why.
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June 19th, 2011, 17:31
I understood it at least when I was browsing through TVTropes, especially at my favourite entry : "pandering to the base".

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June 19th, 2011, 17:39
I don't know much or how many copies (skus) da2 has sold untill now, but I do know that david gaider in a post on the da2 forum said something along the line of this:
"You have to remember that DA2 sold 2 millions while having a 18-24 months development schedule, and DA:O sold about 4 million or so in total while having a 5-7 year development time."

He then went on to say (or mean actually, if you read between the lines) that this has to be taking into account as well, though it is not the only thing they're looking at. However, selling 2 million copies, or even 1½ million copies of game which only took about 18 months to finish gives a higher return of investment (roi) than selling 4½ million copies of game, which took about 5-7 years to make.

And I don't think there's any non VG Chartz data out there, but they do give a trend. And that trend is that the game sold like ½ million in the first two weeks, then the curve just flattened out….

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June 19th, 2011, 17:47
Maybe its just me, but how come bioware representatives manage to sound so smug in these interviews. I quess there is nothing else to be done other than not buying their games, but for once i'd love to read an interview where these people would give open and honest answers. If they really think that DA II was an innovative title, well then they have lost their touch.
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June 19th, 2011, 17:55
Just on a side note can someone explain how you go from DA:O TO DA2. I would love to hear who decided to do a complete u-turn. Really what decided the change it would be nice to hear some honesty than that pr crap they couldn't rest on there laurels.

I would love to hear there answer because its mind boggling how much the sequel seems to have nothing in common with the first. Just dont give me the money excuse than I will lose what little respect I have left for this company.

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June 19th, 2011, 17:57
People are really interested in how much this game sold, aren't they? Beats me why…

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June 19th, 2011, 17:59
Usually I buy every new crpg out there on release day, but due to the first impressions/reviews here on Rpgwatch this game has to wait until it can be found in the bargin bin (all download contents included).

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June 19th, 2011, 18:04
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Core fans have always been a vocal minority. It has been common understanding for at least 10 years - if not longer - that devs should not put much value into unfiltered fan feedback. Fans are loud but they more often than not simply don't know what they're talking about (from a professional perspective), meaning that they're often not capable of explaining clearly what exactly they (dis)like and why.
It depends what we're talking about here. In the case of this game I think feedback like the same few environments were used over and over and wave after wave of enemies where you don't know their placement make it impossible to use any strategy forcing you to simply button mash are pretty clear. A lot of people commented on these aspects too, not just at the Bioware forums, but in more 'casual' locations like online reviews at Amazon and other sites.

The "core fans" aren't always wrong and sometimes they do know what they want or at least what they don't want.

Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
I don't know much or how many copies (skus) da2 has sold untill now, but I do know that david gaider in a post on the da2 forum said something along the line of this:
"You have to remember that DA2 sold 2 millions while having a 18-24 months development schedule, and DA:O sold about 4 million or so in total while having a 5-7 year development time."

He then went on to say (or mean actually, if you read between the lines) that this has to be taking into account as well, though it is not the only thing they're looking at. However, selling 2 million copies, or even 1½ million copies of game which only took about 18 months to finish gives a higher return of investment (roi) than selling 4½ million copies of game, which took about 5-7 years to make.

And I don't think there's any non VG Chartz data out there, but they do give a trend. And that trend is that the game sold like ½ million in the first two weeks, then the curve just flattened out….
The 2 million is a "sold in" number, meaning retailers bought them with a stipulation they can return what they don't sell to EA for a refund at some point. It's unknown how many actually made it into players hands. At least that is if he is getting that from EA's numbers that they released to the press. The VGchartz numbers sound about right to me but I don't know that will ever get solid verifiable numbers.

He has a point about the ROI though, from EA's perspective, a game that sells a little less but took a lot less time to make is probably still a gain. This means you will never see another DA:O and you can expect to see more half assed, rushed games that cut corners from them.

Originally Posted by Dez View Post
Maybe its just me, but how come bioware representatives manage to sound so smug in these interviews. I quess there is nothing else to be done other than not buying their games, but for once i'd love to read an interview where these people would give open and honest answers. If they really think that DA II was an innovative title, well then they have lost their touch.
It's not just you. They always sound really smug to me as well and it irritates me and turns me off. That's not how you treat customers. Even if they are in the minority they are still a customer, paid some of their own money so people at Bioware can keep having a job. I certainly don't expect them to cater to ever personal's individual whim but a little respect and a little humility would be nice.
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June 19th, 2011, 18:17
It's not just you. They always sound really smug to me as well and it irritates me and turns me off. That's not how you treat customers. Even if they are in the minority they are still a customer, paid some of their own money so people at Bioware can keep having a job. I certainly don't expect them to cater to ever personal's individual whim but a little respect and a little humility would be nice.
I think that is there plan. They want to kill off the older core audience to make more customers of the new generation. Now I'm not accusing anyone but the newer customers always act like hyper active gerbils on caffeine when a new Bioware game gets announced.

Its all I jizzed myself comments and bioware love stories. Now the older core audience knows the company doesn't care about us. We have become cynical. Or to put in there language Haters gonna Hate.

To end my little rant Bioware wont be happy till the older core is gone. Now go get my rifle and put this old timer out of his misery.

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June 19th, 2011, 18:39
I know I'm in the minority here but I did not think DA2 was that bad after all things are considered. Not worth full price I think but then few games are these days. I played through it and enjoyed it and may do so again in the future. It was flawed on several levels no doubt (content reuse, …) but not a hanging offense it seems to be trotted out as.

What it looks like to me was the developers were not given a proper schedule and the problems I have with the game were mostly a result of that. We got Human Hawke as anything else just increases the testing and writing requirements which increases time and cost. The developers took shortcuts to make the schedule so they reused the exact same floor layout multiple times and didnt update the city maps after several in-game years pass.

Unfortunately this is kind of development seems to be the future of Bioware. They have said for years that BG2 was a mistake and that they made it too big and added too much content and that is exactly why we loved it. Every game since has been increasingly streamlined to minimize that extra work from their side to improve the profitability of the game.
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June 19th, 2011, 19:01
Whatever their ROI was it tarnished the reputation of the brand (and when the hell did gamers start to care about this anyway!?!). They will never be able to recover in followup games. Remember, EA is not interested in selling 1-5m copies. Their stated target is 10m+ which Dragon Age will never reach, hench it's not brand they will ever take seriously (and they never did anyway to begin with). If you follow interviews, you can see that DA2 was a casualty of SWTOR. They have been poring all resources into that game and is betting on a big success. People from the DA2 got pulled over to that project.
Last edited by hishadow; June 19th, 2011 at 19:17.
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June 19th, 2011, 19:22
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
However, selling 2 million copies, or even 1½ million copies of game which only took about 18 months to finish gives a higher return of investment (roi) than selling 4½ million copies of game, which took about 5-7 years to make.
The statement is false. DA2 did not take 2 years to make.
Building and learning how to use an engine is a timeconsuming aspect of making a title, and for DA2 this was already done.

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