BioWare Could Move Away from Fantasy and Sci-Fi

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BioWare Could Move Away from Fantasy and Sci-Fi

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Science Fiction and Fantasy are the two staples for RPG house BioWare, but it's spent long hours thinking about moving to something different.

Quick, name a game from Canadian studio BioWare. Was it Baldur's Gate or Dragon Age? Or perhaps it was Knights of the Old Republic or Mass Effect? Chances are, you either thought of a fantasy RPG or a sci-fi one - and with good reason, as those are BioWare's two pillars.

But the storied RPG developer could move onto untrod ground before too long. Speaking with Gamasutra, founder Greg Zeschuk said that internal discussions about how to broaden the appeal of the studio's games kept coming back to the idea of moving into unfamiliar genres.

As we look forward, that's something we consider more and more ... Initially, I remember, the debates were kind of entertaining. I think our context initially was from a very traditional RPG perspective. So, think of the discussion 10 years ago. Okay, [compare] Baldur's Gate to current day... You look to where both Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 2 and then [Mass Effect 3] have evolved to, and it's very, very different.

Zeschuk suggested that one could imagine a "cop drama" set in a similar framework to that of Mass Effect, or alternatively a spy adventure along the same lines. At least that last one would probably be more stable than Alpha Protocol. "Then that starts opening up new platforms into things that are maybe less traditional than we have historically [made]."

Of course, Zeschuk attempted to stave off the inevitable rumor mill. "We're not confirming anything today, but it's something we discuss a lot, because one of the things we want to do is really try and broaden our appeal, broaden our reach, sell more units, get more fans."

Both of BioWare's major upcoming projects - Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic - are sci-fi, but you can probably bet that there will be another Dragon Age before too long, too. But after that, it seems that the sky is the limit for where we could see BioWare go.

Also, if, at the first part of this article, you say that you first thought of Jade Empire or Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, then A.) congratulations for thinking outside of the box and B.) nobody likes a liar, liar.

(Gamasutra, Via Eurogamer)

Permalink

I thought of Mass Effect and Sonic :p not sure why I thought of Sonic.

But honestly I feel like good writing transcends "genre"; so if they say one day that they are making a platform game, or a horror game, or even a racing one! I have total faith in them to pull it off (I don't even like DA and Mass Effect, but they are good games).

A spy game by Bioware would be awesome!

I would like to Bioware create a nice FPS to, that would be amusing.

Maybe I'm being narrow minded but I don't really think there are many more interesting genres...

I'm sure Bioware could make it work whatever they do, I just wouldn't like to see them walk away from things they do amazingly.

I may have to go replay Dragon Age: Origins... just for old times sake.

You know, there's a difference between moving away from and branching out. BioWare would be incredibly stupid to move away from fantasy and sci-fi, not because it's what made them, but because they are two very popular genres of entertainment. However, if BioWare (now working with E.A. to provide the budget) would like to do more RPGs like cop dramas, pirates, spies. I'm all for that. The people know how to make an RPG. The only snag I could see would be that they might not be up for it story-telling-wise. It's a genre shift after all.

Well Jade Empire was one of their best games, and I'd hardly consider that traditional fantasy, so I think that they could do this well.

Normally i would say stick with what you know but i am interested in the idea of a spy game set up like mass effect so i condone the indea change

Radeonx:
Well Jade Empire was one of their best games, and I'd hardly consider that fantasy, so I think that they could do this well.

It's fantasy. It's Oriental-based instead of European, but it's fantasy.

de5gravity:
I thought of Mass Effect and Sonic :p not sure why I thought of Sonic.

But honestly I feel like good writing transcends "genre"; so if they say one day that they are making a platform game, or a horror game, or even a racing one! I have total faith in them to pull it off (I don't even like DA and Mass Effect, but they are good games).

You don't like them yet they are good games? ...thats a little bit odd. XP

OT; Finally got DA;O to see what the fuss is about.

Racked up 25 hours in 3 days.

Get help.

A... steam punk RPG? its kinda like fantasy, kinda like science fiction, but not...

I don't care what they do as long as it's still RPG's, it's what they're good at and what they should stick to. If I see Bioware start to fart out FPS's I won't be amused.

John Funk:
BioWare Could Move Away from Fantasy and Sci-Fi

image

Science Fiction and Fantasy are the two staples for RPG house BioWare, but it's spent long hours thinking about moving to something different.

Quick, name a game from Canadian studio BioWare. Was it Baldur's Gate or Dragon Age? Or perhaps it was Knights of the Old Republic or Mass Effect? Chances are, you either thought of a fantasy RPG or a sci-fi one - and with good reason, as those are BioWare's two pillars.

But the storied RPG developer could move onto untrod ground before too long. Speaking with Gamasutra, founder Greg Zeschuk said that internal discussions about how to broaden the appeal of the studio's games kept coming back to the idea of moving into unfamiliar genres.

As we look forward, that's something we consider more and more ... Initially, I remember, the debates were kind of entertaining. I think our context initially was from a very traditional RPG perspective. So, think of the discussion 10 years ago. Okay, [compare] Baldur's Gate to current day... You look to where both Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 2 and then [Mass Effect 3] have evolved to, and it's very, very different.

Zeschuk suggested that one could imagine a "cop drama" set in a similar framework to that of Mass Effect, or alternatively a spy adventure along the same lines. At least that last one would probably be more stable than Alpha Protocol. "Then that starts opening up new platforms into things that are maybe less traditional than we have historically [made]."

Of course, Zeschuk attempted to stave off the inevitable rumor mill. "We're not confirming anything today, but it's something we discuss a lot, because one of the things we want to do is really try and broaden our appeal, broaden our reach, sell more units, get more fans."

Both of BioWare's major upcoming projects - Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic - are sci-fi, but you can probably bet that there will be another Dragon Age before too long, too. But after that, it seems that the sky is the limit for where we could see BioWare go.

Also, if, at the first part of this article, you say that you first thought of Jade Empire or Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, then A.) congratulations for thinking outside of the box and B.) nobody likes a liar, liar.

(Gamasutra, Via Eurogamer)

Permalink

I hope not. Secondly,I liked Sonic Chronicles. The story was good and introduced a character that I hope will show in other Sonic games.

Inkidu:

Radeonx:
Well Jade Empire was one of their best games, and I'd hardly consider that fantasy, so I think that they could do this well.

It's fantasy. It's Oriental-based instead of European, but it's fantasy.

Well, I'd still consider that branching out, so I'd still like to see them pull something similar.

Unlike most news involving Bioware, I really don't see a problem with this. No one builds worlds like Bioware, and this just means they'll be more of them.

I mean, when was the last time you saw the Wuxia genre in a game, outside of Jade Empire?

EDIT: You know what you also see in Jade Empire? Ninjas. Damn Ninjas.

As long as it isn't set during world war 2, or involves some kind of warfare that is modern.

Well, if they know what they are getting into, then go ahead, i say!
BioWare's cool and all, loved most the games they've made these past few years.
So yeah : if they can make a good game in another genre, i wouldn't mind at all.

So basically BioWare are talking about doing a decent version of Alpha Protocol?

Where can I sign up?

I actually did think of Jade Empire when you said think of a game. It was my favorite title by Bioware. I'd still like for them to go back to that setting one more time. Even though that will probably never happen.

Yeah, I don't mind this either. As long as they stop their gradual slide into straight up shooter I'm fine with it.

In fact a crime one would even be good for them, they'd have to work on proper dialogue otions again

Yes, make it an RPG set in the Middle East, that would attract a large audience.
Bonus points if it's a FPS, brown & bloom and has the "blood on screen, so real".

As awesome as Jade Empire was, I admit I think of Mass Efect first wen I think of BioWare.

Anyway, I definitely think a detective or spy story would be absolutely perfect for the BioWare RPG formula. I really hope they do something like that.

Radeonx:
Well Jade Empire was one of their best games, and I'd hardly consider that fantasy...

How so? It may be based in a different mythology, but I would certainly still consider it fantasy.

I suppose traditionally when we think about fantasy we think about Tolkien style European mythology, but I never considered that to be a defining characteristic of fantasy.

To me, what defines fantasy is a broader use of magic, ancient settings, mythical beasts, etc. Not necessarily the specific mythology from which these things are derived.

dragongit:
A... steam punk RPG? its kinda like fantasy, kinda like science fiction, but not...

Maybe redo Arcanum?

Whatever they make, will be 'streamlined to be even more accessible to the fans and when you press a button something awesome will happen! Twice!'.

Screw Bioware, they're cutting to many corners in the name of a quicker buck. And the corners they cut are all from the RPG-part of the equation.

Fanboy:
As long as it isn't set during world war 2, or involves some kind of warfare that is modern.

Seconded. I'd be happy to see something new and different from Bioware, under 2 conditions:

1. They don't abandon Science Fiction and Fantasy. I love those genres.

2. They don't go for a Modern Warfare themed game to further draw in more nimrods.
It would cement them as fully corrupted by EA and I'm sick of being ordered to kill poor Middle Eastern people in games these days.

I don't even mind that BioWare is becoming more shooty. They still keep a lot of deceptively deep RPG elements in there. If you don't believe me play ME2 on Insanity. You start actually caring about who you take in to the fight and how they level up.

I could see them doing an alternate history for sure. Yes it's technically science-fiction (because that's where I find a lot of Turtledove books) but it's barely science fiction. Especially if technology isn't to blame for the alteration. Just make it happen that way. No excuse. It just happened that way instead of the way we've come to know and love.

Pyode:
snip

I reworded that to consider it traditional fantasy.
I'd still consider JE as branching out from the norm, which is the whole point of this topic.

Radeonx:
Well Jade Empire was one of their best games, and I'd hardly consider that traditional fantasy, so I think that they could do this well.

Jade Empire is more of a wuxia fantasy focusing solely on Oriental martial arts culture over the usual stuff, but it's still fantasy nonetheless.

However, the fact that it's based off wuxia and whatnot helps what make it my favorite BioWare game. Just wish the combat mechanics were a bit more robust. :/

Addendum: I would like to see them branch out some. Hell, many people forget that the hidden gem MDK2 was one of their first games. And it was great! Suffered from limited controls (on the Dreamcast at least), but it was still a fun - if frustratingly difficult - game all the same. I'd like to see something else like that. :)

Radeonx:

Pyode:
snip

I reworded that to consider it traditional fantasy.
I'd still consider JE as branching out from the norm, which is the whole point of this topic.

Fair enough.

this could be a double edge sword decision...

How dare you call me a liar! How rude!! That's it, I'm gunna report you to the mods...

For the record tho, why isn't Jade Empire fantasy?? Also, instead of making ANY other game, I want more Jade Empire.

Hristo Tzonkov:

dragongit:
A... steam punk RPG? its kinda like fantasy, kinda like science fiction, but not...

Maybe redo Arcanum?

THIS IS GENIUS ! further deep thinking: why not doing Arcanum 2 then 3 then 4 then 5 ?

I would love to put Wing Commander in BiowWare's capable hands.

Mackheath:

de5gravity:
I thought of Mass Effect and Sonic :p not sure why I thought of Sonic.

But honestly I feel like good writing transcends "genre"; so if they say one day that they are making a platform game, or a horror game, or even a racing one! I have total faith in them to pull it off (I don't even like DA and Mass Effect, but they are good games).

You don't like them yet they are good games? ...thats a little bit odd. XP

OT; Finally got DA;O to see what the fuss is about.

Racked up 25 hours in 3 days.

Get help.

Yeah I dunno, there are a lot of games that I don't enjoy playing, but I still recognize them as good weather it's because of the it's depth, or how the gameplay is solid, etc.. I find a way to distinguish a game I find fun versus an "objectively" good game that fails to push my very specific buttons lol. Or maybe I'm just weird.

arc1991:
A spy game by Bioware would be awesome!

I would like to Bioware create a nice FPS to, that would be amusing.

If its anything like Alpha Protocol, but with Bioware polish and story (and slightly skewed towards the older Bioware games in vain of Jade Empire and KotOR), I would probably die from the massive awegasm.

SageRuffin:

Radeonx:
Well Jade Empire was one of their best games, and I'd hardly consider that traditional fantasy, so I think that they could do this well.

Jade Empire is more of a wuxia fantasy focusing solely on Oriental martial arts culture over the usual stuff, but it's still fantasy nonetheless.

However, the fact that it's based off wuxia and whatnot helps what make it my favorite BioWare game. Just wish the combat mechanics were a bit more robust. :/

Every time I see someone bring up Jade Empire, I can't help thinking that last thing. Well, except for the fact that I'm a bigger fan of sci-fi. I just wish you could have done cooler things with the martial arts.

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