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Default EA - BioWare/Pandemic Q&A @ GameSpot

October 17th, 2007, 16:08
Book-ending GameSpot's recent interview with the BioWare doctors is a similar interview with Pandemic's Josh Resnick and Greg Borrud. The rhetoric is the same and here is a quote:
GB: We've been building Pandemic for nine years now, and I think in our minds, we're only halfway to where we want to be as a developer. Continuing to build Pandemic is what gets us up in the morning. And the key to this transaction is that we'll be able to keep doing that.
JR: One final thought on that. Some of our favorite developers, such as Blizzard and Rockstar, those guys have been able to do incredible work and continue to build their brands and the excitement people have about their products while inside large organizations. So, we're happy to follow in those footsteps.
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October 17th, 2007, 16:08
Aren't Blizzard and Rockstar both self-determined companies, though—that is, nobody owns controlling amounts of stock outside the original group? I'm not too up on the business end of things, but I thought that Blizzard was one of the last big self-owned game developers.

If that's indeed the case, it's a whole different ballgame to produce a game within your own framework, to your own specs, no matter how large your company may have grown, than it is to do so as a smaller unit within a company that sets its own standards for your game's production.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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October 17th, 2007, 20:45
I read that as Blizzard having grown to what they are now while being owned by a large corporation. Maybe they've bought themselves out again at a later point, like Bungie just did. I don't know, I don't know the history.
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October 17th, 2007, 20:51
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Aren't Blizzard and Rockstar both self-determined companies, though—that is, nobody owns controlling amounts of stock outside the original group? I'm not too up on the business end of things, but I thought that Blizzard was one of the last big self-owned game developers.
Blizzard is owned by Vivendi and Rockstar is owned by Take-Two.
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October 17th, 2007, 21:19
Thanks for the information.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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October 18th, 2007, 10:28
It should be mentioned, however, that Rockstar didn't create the franchise that made them world famous. Instead they bought a small company that was making the GTA3 game, absorbed them into their own company and reaped the success.

In parallel to the recent EA acquirement of BioWare one can all too easily imagine a similar interview a few years down the road where someone else is praising EA for their wonderful Mass Effect games.

Vivendi was at one time very close to getting rid of their entire gaming division including Blizzard but before they could go through with it, the lads at Blizzard started doing their magic and like the King of Spain's fury at Cortez's treason, they changed their mind once their coffers were filled with gold.

I can't help but feel Josh Resnick's view on Blizzard and Rockstar as being prime examples of companies existing successfully within large corporations as a bit naive, but time will tell. Since Mass Effect is already scheduled to be a trilogy with plenty of downloadable content in between releases, I don't think even EA can milk that idea anymore until the trilogy is finished … except perhaps making it so that it DOESN'T finish. DICE is stuck doing BattleField games just like Bungie was stuck doing Halo games and with EA's reputation of endless releases of the same game over and over again I wouldn't be surprised to see Mass Effect turning into a quintet or septet or …

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
Last edited by fatBastard(); October 18th, 2007 at 17:29.
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October 18th, 2007, 14:08
Rockstar bought DMA design, but this studio is still working on the GTA franchise.


Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
Vivendi was at one time very close to getting rid of their entire gaming division including Blizzard but before they could go through with it, the lads at Blizzard started doing their magic and like the King of Spain's fury at Cortez's treason, they changed their mind once their coffers were filled with gold.
Vivendi tried to sell their whole games division for something like 700M $ in cash but nobody wanted it for such an amount of money. It was a couple of months before the WoW release. Nobody except Blizzard expected such a huge success. Everybody thought 400k subscribers is the upper bound for MMOs - and everybody wasted a chance to get something for cheap which is now worth billions.
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October 18th, 2007, 15:29
And even Blizzard were caught by surprise by the huge success of WoW.
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October 18th, 2007, 17:27
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Rockstar bought DMA design, but this studio is still working on the GTA franchise.
Thanks for providing the details that I was too lazy to look up myself .

A quick gander at Mobygames shows that DMA design, now known as Rockstar North, is actually responsible for all but a single game of the post GTA3 craze about Rockstar. All the GTA games and the Manhunt games were made by DMA design. If anything then it just confirms my previous point about how it is Rockstar (EA) that is reaping the rewards that DMA design (Bioware) has been responsible for.

Oh well, money talks - principles walks.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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October 18th, 2007, 18:14
I think Microsoft will be publishing any & all Mass Effect games as the contracts between Bioware & Microsoft all are signed by now. Dragon Age might not be that affected either.

However, it seems that John Riccitiello, the CEO of EA, wants more jade empire stuff…
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October 18th, 2007, 23:32
I find a Blizzard an interesting comparison. Their success is an obvious role model. That said, Roper, the Schaefers, Brevik, Scandizzo and lots more are no longer there, having become upset with corporate issues.

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