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January 19th, 2007, 19:18
Well, yes and no.

People at BioWare didn't love it, but this deal was made before BioWare merged with Pandemic, so this was a relatively small company trying to buy itself a little independence by taking (what I understand is) a really nice deal from Microsoft to be the first really big RPG exclusive to the XBox. For a small company, that was a nice way to get some good money (you know, to stay profitable and keep making games) and to guarantee good marketing for Jade -- since Microsoft gets behind advertising for their exclusives in a big way.

Now that we're a larger company, the amount of money that was given to us (and hi, I'm a writer, and I have NO IDEA how much that was, so take all of this as a gross generality) isn't as persuasive -- it's better for us to get onto as many platforms as possible. We're honoring our commitment with Mass Effect, but after that, I'd expect that future console games will be released on multiple consoles (and ideally on the PC as well) simultaneously.

So, short version: it was a good idea at the time, because it gave BioWare the breathing room to actually make its own games (Jade, Mass Effect, Dragon Age). It's not something that I think we need to do any longer, though. And I don't think that anybody is pretending it was the ideal solution. (I didn't relish buying an Xbox in order to play Jade Empire, although I did subsequently find some games I liked on it.)

As far as sales being not up to BioWare's usual snuff, bear in mind that this is the first game we made with our own IP. It's kind of to be expected that BioWare's first foray isn't going to sell as well as the games that were backed by giants like the D&D license or Star Wars.
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