EA Closes BioWare San Francisco - UPDATED

Myndnix

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Aug 11, 2012
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mfw



But in all seriousness, I knew this'd happen eventually. EA slowly shut down every developer that works for them. Patterns don't lie, sadly.
 

Mirrorknight

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Jul 23, 2009
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the antithesis said:
So, wait. The name was changed from EA2D to Bioware San Francisco for what purpose? To fool people that their games were made by the actual Bioware and therefore of high quality? That's low even for a video game publisher.
Oh, this isn't a new move. Not in the video game industry, or industries in general. You buy or otherwise obtain the name of some beloved name brand, then you slap it on products that aren't doing well, or future products that might not do well otherwise.

Like how Infogrames is wearing Atari's dead skin.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Andy Chalk said:
UPDATE: In response to inquiries, Electronic Arts said EA Labels President Frank Gibeau addressed the issue a couple of weeks ago in the blog post entitled "Transition Is Our Friend [http://www.ea.com/news/transition-is-our-friend]," and that it had no further comment to make on individual studio or headcount reductions.

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<color=red>Transition Is Our Friend

oh god! it has started!
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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Hmmm, no big thing, and not surprising.

It seems like it was a team picked up specifically to build tie-in promotional games for bigger products. The first "Dragon Age" game (single player) was cute and got some positive attention. The second, more ambitious, browser game was a microtransaction hungry monster that was largely tied to a product (Dragon Age 2) that wound up getting
mixed results at the best. Truthfully it's kind of surprising that it lasted into May 2012.

Given that their stable of games seems to be dead, dying, and tied to less than successful properties (Mirror's Edge wasn't exactly a smash success despite the praise for innovation it gets). Bioware's games being the ones that seemed to give them most of their success, and with Bioware's increasingly ambigious reception it's probably a wise desician to think that their next game isn't nessicary going to inherantly carry a promotional tie in like this to seperate microtransaction based success due to pure inertia.

In short it seems like it was a "Ra Ra" team designed to be attached to the coattails of a more successful company. Bioware managed to turn decades of good will into poison over a period of 3 games. Right now it seems like Bioware is probably on it's last legs before EA takes it out behind the woodshed and puts it out of it's misery, never mind being gifted with it's own seperate-profit-seeking cheering section.

Honestly, as much money as ME3 and DA2 might have made in absolute terms, even EA can't be oblivious to the reactions they are receiving, add ToR to it, and I think there are a lot of eyes on seeing how bad the backlash is going to be with their next game(s). Attaching riders isn't something I'd do at this stage in the game either.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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DVS BSTrD said:
This is what you call consolidating boys and girls. No more browser based games, no more action pretending to be horror, and no more Medal of Honor. Now we just have to wait until that Mass Effect spin-off fails to set the world on fire, and we can kiss the real Bioware goodbye as well.
depending on what you consider the real Bioware to be, they could already be dead and their zombified corpse just doesn't know it yet.

Basically it's like Bioware is a zombie.

And EA is Ash Williams. And THIS! IS! THEIR! BOOMSTICK!
 

kael013

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Jun 12, 2010
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the antithesis said:
So, wait. The name was changed from EA2D to Bioware San Francisco for what purpose? To fool people that their games were made by the actual Bioware and therefore of high quality? That's low even for a video game publisher.
This isn't new. EA made BioWare a brand name some time ago (about around when BioWare Pulse appeared). Thus they started renaming studios to the "BioWare" brand to sucker people in... Then Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3, and SW:TOR came out and kinda smashed that strategy.

Currently BioWare has 4 studios:
BioWare Edmonton: THE original studio and responsible for everything up to Mass Effect (that means Baldur's Gate, KotOR, Jade Empire, etc.). So if you're worried about the REAL BioWare these are the guys to watch.

BioWare Austin: A "brand name" studio formed from people from other studios that made MMOs; SW:TOR is belongs to them

BioWare Montreal: Made the ME3 multiplayer and are developing ME4

BioWare Ireland: Kind of a support studio assisting Austin with quality assurance, localization, networking -stuff like that. No games to speak of.

There's another BioWare studio that was formed when EA renamed an existing studio they had (so another "brand name") that's working on a Command & Conquer game but I can't remember the studio name; may be Ireland, I don't know.
 

FalloutJack

Bah weep grah nah neep ninny bom
Nov 20, 2008
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Devoneaux said:
DVS BSTrD said:
This is what you call consolidating boys and girls. No more browser based games, no more action pretending to be horror, and no more Medal of Honor. Now we just have to wait until that Mass Effect spin-off fails to set the world on fire, and we can kiss the real Bioware goodbye as well.
depending on what you consider the real Bioware to be, they could already be dead and their zombified corpse just doesn't know it yet.

Basically it's like Bioware is a zombie.

And EA is Ash Williams. And THIS! IS! THEIR! BOOMSTICK!
Whoa whoa WHOA! Hey now. That ain't right. Ash is likeable.

The analogy doesn't fit, anyway. Ash didn't make his hand bad to have to lop it off. Someone else did. Clearly, the Bioware being a zombie joke must also extend from EA being a worse evil.

Ergo, EA is Bad Ash. And this...is what's happening:


Shop smart, Escapists. Shop S-mart.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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FalloutJack said:
Devoneaux said:
DVS BSTrD said:
This is what you call consolidating boys and girls. No more browser based games, no more action pretending to be horror, and no more Medal of Honor. Now we just have to wait until that Mass Effect spin-off fails to set the world on fire, and we can kiss the real Bioware goodbye as well.
depending on what you consider the real Bioware to be, they could already be dead and their zombified corpse just doesn't know it yet.

Basically it's like Bioware is a zombie.

And EA is Ash Williams. And THIS! IS! THEIR! BOOMSTICK!
Whoa whoa WHOA! Hey now. That ain't right. Ash is likeable.

The analogy doesn't fit, anyway. Ash didn't make his hand bad to have to lop it off. Someone else did. Clearly, the Bioware being a zombie joke must also extend from EA being a worse evil.

Ergo, EA is Bad Ash. And this...is what's happening:


Shop smart, Escapists. Shop S-mart.
Well I meant it as Bioware being a shambling corpse that still somehow manages to walk around and then EA is Ash who comes in and puts a right quick stop to that.
 

FalloutJack

Bah weep grah nah neep ninny bom
Nov 20, 2008
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Devoneaux said:
My shop is Bruce?
I know. It just seemed to me that attributing EA to someone relatively cool and at least heroic when he can be bothered is a little unfair to Bruce Campbell. I mean, come on. EA doesn't even have moxie OR a good chin!

*Laughs maniacally*
 

Don Reba

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Jun 2, 2009
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That Mirror's Edge game looks pretty good, actually. Wish I'd known about it earlier.
 

lancar

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Aug 11, 2009
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So, EA is bleeding to death and is frantically trying to stop it any way they can?

/morbidpopcorn
 

Nurb

Cynical bastard
Dec 9, 2008
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Who didn't see this coming? THey'll close Bioware eventually.

Why do people never learn?
 

Strazdas

Robots will replace your job
May 28, 2011
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trying to plug the leaks in the sinking ship may make it sink slower, but not keep it afloat.

Capcha: I can do this!

challenge accepted?
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Sixcess said:
Andy Chalk said:
"Transition Is Our Friend [http://www.ea.com/news/transition-is-our-friend],"
Why is it that the very first thing this makes me think of is "The Computer is your friend. Trust the Computer."

It has that same hint of smiling menace to it.
You dont trust friend computer?

You must be one of those mutant commies!

the antithesis said:
So, wait. The name was changed from EA2D to Bioware San Francisco for what purpose? To fool people that their games were made by the actual Bioware and therefore of high quality? That's low even for a video game publisher.
They do it quite often, when they have a studio that has a good buzz and PR they change the names of their other studios to reflect that.

Shortly after Mass Effect 2 they rebranded their RTS wing called "Victory Studios" which was formally part of the old corpse of westwood to "Bioware Victory" because Bioware had good buzz, even though they have fuck all to do with RTS games.

And I am shocked no one has posted this yet!
 
Apr 5, 2008
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DVS BSTrD said:
This is what you call consolidating boys and girls. No more browser based games, no more action pretending to be horror, and no more Medal of Honor. Now we just have to wait until that Mass Effect spin-off fails to set the world on fire, and we can kiss the real Bioware goodbye as well.
You're right, I know you're right but even though I loathe EA, it's still sad when you say it :-(

Desert Punk said:
And I am shocked no one has posted this yet!
Westwod, Pandemic, BioWare...may they RIP.

I still have a hope there'll be a Saboteur 2 one day.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

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Sep 10, 2008
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KingsGambit said:
I still have a hope there'll be a Saboteur 2 one day.
In this industry, 'Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.'

Who knows, perhaps EA will pull a THQ and go under and allow all those delicious IP's they hoard free for the taking. But a EA collapse would leave Activision as the top dog.
 
Apr 5, 2008
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Ed130 said:
KingsGambit said:
I still have a hope there'll be a Saboteur 2 one day.
In this industry, 'Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.'

Who knows, perhaps EA will pull a THQ and go under and allow all those delicious IP's they hoard free for the taking. But a EA collapse would leave Activision as the top dog.
I know man, it's just a glimmer of hope. I sigh wistfully any time I see a gas-mask in any game :)

Activision are the top dog, aren't they? I think between CoD and WoW alone, they probably make more money/year than EA, Ubi, 2K, Deep Silver, Squeenix, Sega, Bethesda and Capcom's entire catalogues combined.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Nurb said:
Who didn't see this coming? THey'll close Bioware eventually.

Why do people never learn?
Because learning would involve admitting that they did a mistake. Something which seems to be anathema to these people for some reason.
 

DiamanteGeeza

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Jun 25, 2010
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Trishbot said:
Church185 said:
While I don't agree that companies shouldn't try to make a homerun every time (I would love to see companies try and make the best games they can possibly make, shoot for the stars and all that), you are definitely right that EA's strategy so far is just awful.
I should rephrase. You SHOULD try to make a homerun every time (like in baseball), but you shouldn't EXPECT to make a homerun every time, and you shouldn't base your business, and the jobs of your employees, on a homerun every time. EA seems to be the people with zero plans for anything but homeruns, like the sheer notion of being a marginally successful game that makes a moderate profit is something they feel is the worst thing ever. So they put all their eggs in one basket, and when the game fails they blame the people who made the games they told them to make rather than realize it was their own stupid decisions they imposed on them.

"Mistakes are never bad if you learn from them." I'm not sure EA is learning.
Exactly right. Nobody ever sets out to make a bad game, but time constraints, budget constraints, bad decisions from the publisher (which probably seem like good ones to the accounts and/or marketing department), bad decisions from the developer (that probably seem like great and innovative ideas at the time, but don't pan out), bad planning, unrealistic expectations, and so on, all conspire against certain projects.

And even then, you can turn out the best and most innovative game ever, but if it doesn't sell more than the (seemingly arbitrary and increasingly inflated) sales target dreamed up by some VP of sales somewhere who probably hasn't even played the game, then it's deemed a failure. In the old days, a publisher used to go, "huh, that didn't work too well. What can we learn from this? Let's try again," whereas nowadays, when a game doesn't sell the ludicrous number of units it's supposed to, the immediate kneejerk reaction from all big publishers is, "AAGGGHHHH! Quick close the studio immediately! It's clearly ALL THEIR FAULT! If we shut them down, Wall Street will think we know what we're doing! Appease the huge, know-nothing, money-grabbing, beast of Wall Street! QUICK!"

Remember the days when selling 2 or 3 million units was nothing short of astonishing? Well now, the big publishers seem to consider this a personal insult at 'only' selling 3 million units. It's madness, and it's killing our industry.