BioWare's New Secret IP Revealed On A T-Shirt at GDC

John Keefer

Devilish Rogue
Aug 12, 2013
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BioWare's New Secret IP Revealed On A T-Shirt at GDC

[tweet t=https://twitter.com/Al_McNally/status/710951296971481088]

BioWare's senior director of creative development wore a T-shirt to GDC last week with the company's new top-secret IP emblazoned on it. No one noticed.

BioWare has announced the name of its new IP that it has kept close to the vest since E3 2014. Unfortunately, no one picked up on it.

Senior Director of Creative Development Alistair McNally tweeted that he wore the shirt to see if anyone would notice the visual hint, but as happens quite often in today's hectic world, the detail was lost on the masses. Now, somewhat after the fact, folks on the BioWare forums [http://forum.bioware.com/topic/561328-the-secret-ip-twitter-info-thread/page-29] are scrambling to find pictures of McNally from the trade show.

The game was teased in an E3 2014 video [https://youtu.be/4H1FN2_--EM?t=1m18s] about the next Mass Effect game, Andromeda (which was recently delayed to early 2017). In the video, it was revealed that BioWare Edmonton is developing it, and that the studio wants to tell "very contemporary stories" in a world "as big as and imaginative" as the studio's previous work. The "clean-sheet design" allows BioWare to try "to build a fictional world that feels real," the video said.

If you find any picture of McNally, let us know. The IP image on the shirt (if there was one) could look like some of these concept images below.

[gallery=6045]

Source: IGN [http://www.pcgamer.com/biowares-new-ip-was-revealed-at-gdc-but-nobody-noticed/]

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MCerberus

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Jun 26, 2013
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Bioware - you had one of your big names walk around with a spoiler shirt begging to be discovered and nobody cares. A Valve employee wears a joke t-shirt and thousands run screaming to pay blood sacrifice to dark altars anticipating the end of days.

This should tell you a lot about the long-term reactions to your recent works. It's not that we've stopped caring, it's that we've seen this sad story before and want to remember the Bioware that came before the homogEnizAtion ray.
 

Lightspeaker

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Dec 31, 2011
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weirdee said:
Bioware's New IP Reveal Fails To Leave Lasting Impression On GDC
I'd also note that Bioware's last two releases were Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition. Both of which have pushed some to take a 'prove you can still make a game that doesn't disappoint, Bioware' stance. DAI is generally compared unfavourably to The Witcher 3 and I think everyone knows about the ME3 writing and deceptive promotion fiasco; regardles of your opinion on either of these games its hard to argue that they were extremely well received, which has led to a certain degree of cynicism towards Bioware.

In fact leaving aside the MMO that they pushed out and taking into account how many people view 2011's Dragon Age 2 as a disappointment (I loved it and hated DAO, but I tend to seem to be in the minority on that one) one might even say they've not produced a truly great game, adored by the public and critically acclaimed, since Mass Effect 2 all the way back in 2010.

When you've got that kind of recent record of disappointments its not exactly a huge surprise if people aren't jumping out of their seats at a new IP.
 

Mikeybb

Nunc est Durandum
Aug 19, 2014
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Well, that pic with the run down metal shed/pod thing reminds me of the first level out of mass effect one.
Just has a similar shape (in my very rusty memory) to the pods you find people hiding inside from the geth and husks.

Maybe people noticed it but thought "oh. more mass effect stuff".
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Sep 6, 2009
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There are too many generalities in Bio's statement. Maybe once they lock down some specifics for us, there might be more interest.
 
Sep 9, 2007
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Mikeybb said:
Well, that pic with the run down metal shed/pod thing reminds me of the first level out of mass effect one.
Just has a similar shape (in my very rusty memory) to the pods you find people hiding inside from the geth and husks.

Maybe people noticed it but thought "oh. more mass effect stuff".
This sounds most likely. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine that he wasn't the only one wearing a vaguely gaming related shirt and so it was seen as nothing out of the ordinary.
 

Fdzzaigl

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Mar 31, 2010
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Immediate hate whenever BioWare even gets mentioned nowadays, just ridiculous imo.

Dragon Age: Inquisition was flawed but still great fun. ME3 I won't get into, lets just say I don't share the majority opinion.
SW:TOR is one of two mmo's amongst thousands that I actually come back to now and then and great fun with friends.

There's other devs out there more deserving of your pitchforks, let it rest already.
 
Nov 28, 2007
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Let's be honest. How many of you, if you were to take a glance at a gaming shirt, would come to the conclusion "Hmm, don't recognize that game. Must be their new IP!"? Personally, I'd just think "Huh. Wonder what game that is," and then think nothing further.
 

Devieus

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thebobmaster said:
Let's be honest. How many of you, if you were to take a glance at a gaming shirt, would come to the conclusion "Hmm, don't recognize that game. Must be their new IP!"? Personally, I'd just think "Huh. Wonder what game that is," and then think nothing further.
I could think it wouldn't be game related at all, there's so much shit being put on shirts these days, any random YouTuber has his/her own fashion line of the things with the most random words in any conceivable way. This is a very bad way to reveal anything.
 

Strazdas

Robots will replace your job
May 28, 2011
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Mikeybb said:
Well, that pic with the run down metal shed/pod thing reminds me of the first level out of mass effect one.
Just has a similar shape (in my very rusty memory) to the pods you find people hiding inside from the geth and husks.

Maybe people noticed it but thought "oh. more mass effect stuff".
yeah, i can see that. the shape looks very similar indeed. also notice how its all just two pictures with different lighting effects.
 

Joccaren

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Mar 29, 2011
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Fdzzaigl said:
Immediate hate whenever BioWare even gets mentioned nowadays, just ridiculous imo.

Dragon Age: Inquisition was flawed but still great fun. ME3 I won't get into, lets just say I don't share the majority opinion.
SW:TOR is one of two mmo's amongst thousands that I actually come back to now and then and great fun with friends.

There's other devs out there more deserving of your pitchforks, let it rest already.
Eh, its not so much hate as an utter lack of enthusiasm, which is entirely understandable. I mean, I'm not seeing anyone in this thread stating "OMG, Bioware Sucks, why would anyone care?". I see people saying "You've recently had a very lackluster reception to your games, why do you think many people would notice?

And its a valid point.
DA:I was received... Ok. It was seen as the best game Bioware has made in 6ish years, better than DA2, better than the genericness of SWTOR [I say that as someone who does go back and play it fairly regularly], and better than the shitstorm that was ME3. However, even at release it was panned for its padding and grinding and lack of really intelligent world design, that left the best way to play the game as ignoring half the content. Then, a few months later, The Witcher 3 comes out, and is DA:I, but so much more. Since then, Inquisition has been seen as completely mediocre, as compared to a game coming out mere months later it is so much less detailed, is worse designed, and less creative in its design.
ME3, regardless of whether you like it or not, was received horribly due to blatantly untrue statements made by devs prior to its release, and the huge number of plot holes and contrivances in it, as well as the removal of the player's control over who Shepard as a character was, and a whole lot else. That debate's been had, but most people are still very, very disappointed in that entry and how it happened, and judge Bioware in a lesser light because of it.
SWTOR is generic MMO fare mixed with Bioware single player focus. And TBH a lot of SWTOR players have hated some of the recent patches that have removed the difficulty for a lot of things like crafting and such and turned the game almost into a single player experience. Funnily enough that's the reason I play it, as I hate being forced to multiplay, but as an MMO... That's a pretty questionable design decision. And, of course, there's a lot of people pissed off that we won't get a KotOR III because of it. I know many of them. They'll never let it go.
Before that, DA2 was a horrid disappointment as well. It was a divisive game with a lot of people loving the fact it turned into an action game, and a lot of people hating the fact that it was no longer a tactical RPG, but even outside that the very rushed nature of the game, its blatant re-use of all its assets, poorly thought out systems and general 'dumbing down' of everything due to rushing to get it out the door in just over a year from memory, when it was originally going to be an expansion instead of a game... Yeah, wasn't received well.

As has been said, their most recent game that actually had a great reception and was near-universally loved was Mass Effect 2. As a brand, they no longer have the reputation they once had. People look at them and don't go "Oh my god, Bioware is releasing a new game, HYPE TRAIN ACTIVATE" like they used to. Most go "Bioware is releasing a new game huh. Well, I'll wait for reviews then get it half price a year after launch". And that's perfectly reasonable and understandable. Not everyone has to love them just because you do. A lot of people expect very little of them now, as they've recently released very little that people have loved. You can't expect people to get excited over things they really couldn't care less about, and you can't call that hating Bioware - hating implies they care and aren't happy. Most people just haven't seen something really worth their interest from the group in half a decade. Some people were never interested in them. That's just how things go, even if you personally love them.
 

Jandau

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Dec 19, 2008
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Bioware Hints at New IP, Nobody Cares

Seriously, though, Bioware has become painfully mediocre. Not terrible, not bad, not garbage - just meh. And due to the internet's need to classify everything as either "The best thing ever!!!" or "Total shit!!!", people have been sticking them into the latter category for a while now. But IMO, the mediocrity they have descended into is in a way even worse. A few proper disasters would simply get the studio closed or something, but as it is they keep on coasting along, like a C- student - not the bottom of the pile, just a pile of missed opportunities.

DA2 was the worst it got. It was a game with big ambitions shafted by a lack of budget and development time, and when that is taken into consideration, it actually didn't come out too bad. It had a criminally short development cycle, during which personnel and funds were being diverted into SW:TOR. So we got the same 3 maps recycled over and over again, copy pasted combat encounters with waves of generic mooks and a story that feels somewhat disjointed. But we also got Varric, Avelline and a few other memorable characters, as well as a slightly unusual narrative structure. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't very good.

ME3 was OK. The gameplay was a bit less tight than the second game, the story was scattershot but passable (ending aside), it had a few cool moments, but ultimately failed to meet expectations. Again, not awful, just utterly unimpressive, it's main weakness being its inability to measure up to the previous titles.

TOR was the most generic MMO that could be designed by a committee ever. Seriously, the gameplay felt like a product of a contest to distill the most boring and bland mechanics ever. It did things even WOW gave up on as tedious. Its shining achievement were the class stories, which covered a wide variety of narratives and characters, seeing how they all float in a Star Wars setting. Shame they are toning down the narrative as the expansions roll on...

DA:I tried to compensate with quantity - they just churned out bunch of massive maps, but tied them together with arguably one of the worst Bioware stories, a recycled villain, a rushed final act and padded it with so much filler content that the whole thing feels like the world's biggest rice cracker. Again, it's not bad, it's not garbage, it's just there, smack dab in the middle of the pack.

So after all of that, people can't really bring themselves to care. Saying "Bioware" tends to elicit an apathetic shrug nowadays. Perhaps they can turn it around. Perhaps they can start to reclaim some of their old greatness. But I'll need to see it to believe it.

For me, it rides on Andromeda. It's almost a new IP, in that it's free from the shackles of the previous games. If they can make Andromeda good, I might muster up interest in whatever new thing they are cooking up. If not, Bioware is out of any major consideration for me.
 

Blazing Hero

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Hey Bioware, did you ever think that maybe no one comment on those pictures because they look fairly generic? It seems like the images were just so boring no one bothered to ask you about them.
 

JemothSkarii

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Nov 9, 2010
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It just looks like Mass Effect screens?

Is Mass Effect: Andromeda a secret? Pretty sure they announced it after all. But yeah, to agree with other people, looks generic, and Bioware has been middling to awful as of late.
That and all of their writers seem to be leaving so whatever they had going for them is kinda gone now.
They're just another EA dev at this point.
 

Arnoxthe1

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Dec 25, 2010
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When they go back to Neverwinter Nights' quality and modularity, or even DA:O's utter quality of story (although that was the beginning of the end for me, combat-wise) (Combat was bad, did I say that already?) I'll start looking at them again.
 

sorsa

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Dec 19, 2011
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They've earned my love through many good past titles, so I will certainly give them the benefit of the doubt and expect good things.

It looks kind of like seasons are a thing, in a futuristic setting. Maybe they'll be brave and attempt to make a world with changing seasons.. which is probably insane since making just one version of a world map takes so long to build, unless they've got some trick up their sleeve.

Maybe the game world is limited to rather small individual areas, instead of the wide open spaces like in Inquisition.