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July 10th, 2012, 17:39
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post

Another thought could be this: I agree that Bioware now seems to think that getting the game out on time e.g. on the announced release date is more important than anything else, especially so, since if they don't, their parent company, EA, loses money…..

And to me, somewhere along the line, Bioware seem to have forgotten that their vision is to 'tell the best stories in the world through the game medium' - not just make much much money…..
I agree with you, wholeheartedly.

Although we can't really know all of the actual reasons behind the changes, I suspect there's also a major 'not losing money' factor at work here. As I see it, at the time BW allowed itself to be acquired by EA, BW had 2 unreleased projects representing huge investments; DA:O and ME1. Both had been under development for years and hadn't yet been released or funded by outside publishers. So BW was in a financial hole, having invested and probably borrowed money to pay salaries and development costs for these projects.

It's said that determining human motivations is particularly difficult because almost always a human decision results from multiple, often conflicting, motivations. It's particularly rare for any action to have a single motivation. But even with that in mind, I also believe that at the time of the sellout to EA, BW had worked itself into a position where there was a real risk that the entire company could go under without a major infusion of funding. One major reason for the merger was probably to save BW.

It seems to me that the BW docs probably came away from the merger bound and determined not to let the company get into a financially strapped position ever again. Both EA and BW seem to agree that the best way of stemming massive losses is to get games out on time and on budget.

In business, as in sports, there's a difference between playing to win, and playing not to lose. As a practical matter, the difference probably boils down to the degree of risk and type of risk an enterprise is willing to take. Ultimately, a singular focus on avoiding big loses produces different results than a singular focus on generating big wins.

Of course I just said that human motivations are rarely singular, and this probably applies here also. So there's a balance at work; time and effort avoiding big losses verses time and effort generating big wins.

Seems to me that the production personnel fall into the 'avoiding big losses' category. It's important to have and apply these assets to the business, but if they're out of balance, then you have a company that doesn't produce big wins any more. Because that's not their major focus.

I'd like to see the new BW evolve backwards at least a bit. Change the balance between avoiding big losses and generating big wins. I agree with you that BioWare needs to reconnect with their great strength, as you put it, "their vision … to 'tell the best stories in the world through the game medium.'"


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