Negative fans were the reason behind BioWare co-founders' departutres, says former BioWare dev
Earlier this month, BioWare co-founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka announced that they were retiring from the company. At the time, the two made it sound like they were simply ready to move on to other things, but now former BioWare developer Trent Oster is suggesting that less-than positive fan reactions to Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic could have attributed to their decision.
In an interview with NowGamer, the former senior developer shared the details on his last meeting with Zeschuk, who was noticeably exhausted. “The last time I met up with [Greg], I felt his exhaustion. "Punch out, eject, get the hell out", was my suggestions to him and it hit closer to the mark than I had realized. I also think the Mass Effect 3 fan reaction and the Old Republic fans negativity was just too much.”
“You have to love games and you put your heart into them to create them,” Oster added. “To have the fans creating petitions against the work is pretty hard to take, especially when you've spent the last few years crunching overtime to try and ship a game. It can be hard to shut off the overwhelming negativity the internet spews forth, especially when it has your name or the name of your company in it.”
While Oster wasn’t surprised to hear Zeschuk was retiring, it did come as a shock to learn that Muzyka was leaving too. “Ray surprised me. I had him pegged as an EA lifer. My thought was the Ray agenda was to first usurp Frank Gibeau and then later John Riccotello as CEO.”
“I'm sure the internal culture at EA had pinned the Old Republic conversion to free to play as a failure and hung that completely on Ray, so that would have hurt his upward climb. But, I figured he would fight harder. EA upper management must have been even worse than I thought.”
For those who haven’t been following BioWare or EA lately, Oster is referring to how The Old Republic, despite initially strong sales, has fallen considerably in sales, leading to the game adopting a free-to-play option starting next month. As for Mass Effect 3… well, I don’t think I need to remind you of the brouhaha that erupted among fans over the game’s endings.
What say you? Do you think Oster is right, and that fan negativity pushed Zeschuk and Muzyka to leave BioWare? Feel free to let us know in the comment box below.
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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