Friday, October 12, 2007
Another case of my blog writing about the same news as all the other blogs: EA buys Bioware. But in this case I'm not just playing devil's advocate, I really have a different opinion than everybody else. Every single blog I've seen thinks EA is the evil empire of gaming, and will destroy the creativity of Bioware, alternatively firing the employees or turning them into drones. Everybody is afraid that this will kill the unnamed Bioware MMO or turn it into some horrible abomination. Oh come on, stop that paranoia! EA isn't the acronym for Evil Aempire.
EA made a lot of money with not very original games, especially all those sports series where you need to look on the box to see whether you are playing the 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007 version, each of which sold at full price. But they are well aware of the fact that this doesn't work very well for other forms of gaming. In MMOs they actually overdid it in the other direction, by *not* releasing a sequel to Ultima Online. "UO2" under two different names has the dubious record of being the only MMORPG being cancelled twice.
On the same blogs that today write that EA will totally ruin Bioware and their MMO you just need to scroll down a bit to find raving hype previews of Warhammer Online, which many people think will be the next big thing, greatest game ever, WoW killer, you name it, it's been called it. And WAR is made by EA Mythic. So why shouldn't a EA Bioware be able to make a good Baldur's Gate Online or Neverwinter Nights Online?
As I said, the future of MMORPGs comes when companies realize that they can make profits with MMORPGs costing $50 million to $100 million to develop. You can't play in the same league as WoW if you don't spend the same amount of money as Blizzard does. And with all respect for their creativity, smaller game companies just won't have the financial muscle to do that. We *need* companies like EA as investors. And they don't appear to have damaged the creative spirits at Mythic, so what interest would they have in destroying much of the value of their acquisition by destroying the creative spirit of Bioware?
So I suggest you all cool down a bit and stop acting as if this was the end of the world. The CEO of Electronic Arts wants a great MMORPG as much as you do.