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[UO Herald] Mythic and Bioware Form New RPG/MMO Group

Discussion in 'UHall' started by UO News, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. UO News

    UO News RSS Feed
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    Today we have important news to share with the community. EA is restructuring its RPG and MMO games development into a new group that includes both Mythic and BioWare. This newly formed team will be led by Ray Muzyka, co-founder and General Manager of BioWare. With this change, Ray becomes Group General Manager of the new RPG/MMO studio group. BioWare’s other co-founder, Greg Zeschuk will become Group Creative Officer for the new RPG/MMO studio group. Rob Denton will step up as General Manager of Mythic and report to Ray. BioWare’s studios remain unchanged and continue to report to Ray.

    Mark Jacobs, current General Manager of Mythic will leave EA on June 23, 2009. We thank Mark for his contributions at Mythic and wish him the very best going forward. Mark played a major part in the success of Mythic with his contribution as General Manager and Lead Designer of WAR.

    Mythic retains a strong team led by Rob who co-founded Mythic in 1995. Rob played a critical role in the development of Dark Age of Camelot. In his previous role as COO, he was responsible for all day-to-day management of the studio including all development, operations and support.

    Please join us in celebrating the union of these two award-winning studios.



    More...
     
  2. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    Anyone know of any Bioware games off the top of your heads?
     
  3. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    BioShock (multiple formats) and Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (DS). The group is at least known for quality stuff. Still doesn't help the sense of impending doom at all, however.
     
  4. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Bioshock is the only notable one I can think of off hand...

    Edit: Sonic?!?.....
     
  5. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Top of my head: Neverwinter Nights.

    Now let us see if the Internet confirms this.

    And indeed it does.

    Does anyone have a guess if this is good or bad for us?

    -Galen's player
     
  6. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    It does not matter, EA can not handle their subs so they just keep bringing them together, it has yet to prove useful. We shall see.
     
  7. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    Yeah, they handled the Sonic RPG on DS for Sega. I've not played it though.. kinda avoided Sonic games for a while now due to almost all of them sucking over the past decade...

    Bioware definitely has the credentials to handle MMOs at least, and they are relatively well-regarded as well. I'm still uneasy about it, though. I'm more worried about Mythic changing leaders for (at least) the 3rd time in 2 years than anything.
     
  8. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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  9. Kellgory

    Kellgory Certifiable
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    Here is a link to the Bioware website: http://www.bioware.com/games/

    Right off hand I see the Star Wars MMO's, upcoming Dragon Age, and the Baldur's Gate series.
     
  10. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    EA seems weirdly obsessed with restructuring at the corporate level, as though that alone was going to solve issues.

    The biggest negative here, that I can think of, is that Jacobs appeared to understand the MMO business model.

    Which is to say, smaller profits over a longer period, as opposed to a non-replicable large profit "one shot," like a normal game.

    Also, Jacobs has claimed that he saved UO, when EA wanted to cancel it.

    If that was half-true? We're probably screwed. Not because of any issue with UO, but because EA by itself may expect UO's monthly profits to be those of a successful sports game, which is not the business model. It'd be like a corporate dude expecting his monthly salary to be the same as his bonus.

    -Galen's player
     
  11. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    We can just speculate at this moment...
     
  12. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    I know they are well-regarded.....But having the credentials to handle MMOs?

    Really?

    I think of single-players (Neverwinter Nights mostly) when I think of them.

    What MMOs do they have?

    -Galen's player
     
  13. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    Well I was thinking NN as well (since its at least similar to one) and their various RPGs.. I know MMOs are different beasts, but generally people that can handle standard RPGs well can transition to MMOs easily, at least from what i've seen. Origin did give us the original UO after all.
     
  14. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Source: http://nwn.bioware.com/players/profile_resurrection.html

    This excerpt kinda worries me a bit....Like maybe Bioware's institutional memory might remember UO as something that killed one of their original ideas.

    -Galen's player
     
  15. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    The Baldur's Gate series re-energized the D&D line of games. Although I haven't played any of their more recent games, the older games I know have always been very impressively designed with a detail to atmosphere.

    Go to bioware.com and look under bioware games for their past and future resume.

    From a design point of view, this is very exciting as what I've seen in the past is that they are respectful and creative with the properties under their care. However, with any corporate upheaval, there is always a period of anxiety while the structure of power, influence and agenda become clear. I don't have any sense of how they will be with absorbing outside business units.

    *checks their careers page* *sigh, why does this country have to be so wide*
     
  16. Chrissay_

    Chrissay_ Guest

    I do want to assure all of you that this news does not impact the release of Stygian Abyss and it is business as usual on the UO team.

    We are still Mythic and will remain Mythic.
     
  17. Vyric

    Vyric Visitor
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    Bioware:

    Baldur's Gate 1 & 2
    Mass Effect 1 & 2
    Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
    Jade Empire
    Dragon Age (Release later this year)
    Star Wars: The Old Republic (new MMO)

    I dare say EA is finally getting serious about it's RPG/MMO division.

    PS

    For those who follow DAoC and WAR, you'll know that no more MJ *IS* a good thing.
     
  18. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Gameplay-wise, yes.

    But business-wise?

    Business-wise, single-players are all about short-term intensity. Develop; market; launch; profit; move onto next project before you've had a chance to roll around in the money. If you lose money, dust yourself off, drink a cup of coffee, write off the loss, and jump into something totally different. Intensity.

    MMOs, business-wise, are all about long-term. You have your initial investment; you make it up over-time. After, say, a year, maybe more maybe less.....It's almost all profit, minus development money to keep people interested. But that's minimal compared to the single-player investment. You get to avoid the heartache of seeing an intense effort turn into a big loss when it turns your game sucks. But what you sacrifice is the metaphoric erection you get from seeing those huge profits roll in when you do really good.

    It's kinda like one-night stands, versus marriage. And here's a bit of wisdom: People who are used to one-night stands do not, generally, make good spouses. There are exceptions. I've seen them work out fine. But those exceptions are....Well, they are exceptions. They don't change the pattern, they just deviate from it.

    I, for one, am extremely apprehensive about this, and I fear for people who have paid for 6 months or a year ahead.

    -Galen's player
     
  19. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    Based on what little I know, they strike me as the sort of culture that would be more excited than bitter. But with any consolidation, there will be some voices out there asking hard questions about the cost:benefit ratios of everything. While we wait for the reassuring overtures, probably best to just sit back and enjoy ToT3 :)

    <I>Oops ... Chrissay already got in with reassurances </I>
     
  20. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Thank you.

    But how sure are you about that arrangement being maintained say, 1 month.....6 months.....In advance? Especially after Stygian Abyss's profits aren't as intense as those of, say, a brand-spanking new single-player RPG with sports-action interface and a brand new, custom graphics engine.

    -Galen's player
     
  21. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    I hope you're right but again: Aren't those single-player RPGs?

    That's a very different animal than an MMO.

    -Galen's player

    EDIT: Ok, I see one MMO. Star Wars-themed. Sorry but Star Wars is to me, now a very tainted brand name.

     
  22. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    Hence me saying I still feel uneasy about it.
     
  23. PASmountaindew

    PASmountaindew Babbling Loonie
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    But isn't UO considered an MMO and RPG? Will we (UO players and staff alike) be under the new BioWare management?
     
  24. Chrissay_

    Chrissay_ Guest


    It's business as usual around the Mythic office. There is no cause for alarm. We are still slated for Summer 09 for Stygian Abyss.
     
  25. PASmountaindew

    PASmountaindew Babbling Loonie
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    Next thing we will all here is that ChrissayEAMythic will be changing her Stratic name to ChrissayBioWare. :(
     
  26. Chrissay_

    Chrissay_ Guest

    We are not changing studio names we are going to continue to be Mythic.
     
  27. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    WHat about MythicBioChrissay? :p
     
  28. Chrissay_

    Chrissay_ Guest

    Sheesh you guys are killing me :p
     
  29. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    Don't know what to make of it yet...however, I actually like the BG series by Bioware alot and think they are very well done. Next announcements I am expecting:

    1) All current RNG engines will be replaced by a D20 system
    2) Templates (necro mages, sammy, tank mage etc etc) will henceforth be referred to as prestige classes
    3) GMs will now be refferred to as DMs

    :D
     
  30. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    Neverwinter Nights is a hybrid - multiplayer, user-constructed dungeons/quests you can can transfer characters between. It doesn't have any of the same "game economy/expoit damage" concerns a true MMORPG has (or the need to control their own servers), but there are still all the "upgrade path" issues and maintaining a loyal, dedicated player base.

    I've heard good things from the gravevine about how Bioware runs its ship. I don't know how much has changed since being swallowed by EA, but my initial reflex is to feel better about this than I did about the Mythic merger (no offense to the kind folk at Mythic, it just felt from the outside customer point of view like that was a rough transition).

    As long as the business model is still sound and we don't run into "restructuring fatigue" amongst the teams, I can see this being very good for UO in the long run. But at the end of the day, it still all comes down to X people working flat out amongst all the various projects that need to get done. So all my best to the devs.
     
  31. Tomas_Bryce

    Tomas_Bryce Rares Collector Extraordinaire | Rares Fest Host
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    Mate, this is not a daytime soap. These are professionals doing their jobs. If anything, the fact that they know about Ultima Online is a good sign.

    Please, don't unintentionally insult hard-working and creative people.
     
  32. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    I wish Mark Jacobs the best and thank Mythic for bringing us great community peeps like Chrissay *tosses lil bitty flowers around the thread* There is no doom and gloom here in my eyes, only rose colored pretty gargoyles!
     
  33. Ni-

    Ni- Guest

    Was Icewind Dale also Bio?

    Frankly I am kind of interested in a "Forgotten Realms" MMORPG, but that stems from the R.A. Salvatore, and a few other, FR books I've read. I'm partial to that world moreso than other MMO worlds (DDO/Eberron, WoW, ect...).

    On the other hand, other Forgotten Realms games I've played have been Class oriented. I dislike most Class oriented MMO's for the grind factor. DDO was the only one I half way liked but my default loner personality caused me to get annoyed at the fact that I couldn't do anything w/o a full group.

    I'll probably never play another Class oriented MMO agian. An Forgotten Realms MMO may be the only possible exception, and that would be mostly because of the worlds that I've read about that I could finally see. Once seen, however, I don't know how long I'd be able to last.
     
  34. Ni-

    Ni- Guest

    Didn't Mythic GM Mark Jacobs have the UO head guy report to him? This article says the the new Mythic GM Rob Denton will report to BioWare GM Ray Muzyka... So that means that UO is now under Ray from BioWare?
     
  35. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    From how it was worded, yes.
     
  36. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Ah, the Wilki school of posting. Find an insult where none exists.

    There was an article a few years ago, in Business Week I think, it highlighted something that a lot of us already knew, which was that in business more things happen out of spite and revenge than people ever admit to. The story of Lowes and Home Depot is, I'm pretty sure, just a legend, but similar things do, and have, happened in actuality.

    Human endeavors such as business, politics, academia, and I have to assume the video game industry as well, are fraught with human motives.

    How is it an insult to acknowledge that, and to worry about what it means for UO?

    On second thought, don't bother answering.

    -Galen's player
     
  37. Lord Gareth

    Lord Gareth UO Content Editor | UO Chesapeake & Rares News
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    So Uo wont be getting any people from Bioware? I was thinking it would be nice to have some Bioware people added to the team. I've always enjoyed the games.... err I still love UO was the first online computer game I ever played. Will you guys be exchanging any ideas by chance?
     
  38. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Do you have some idea why this might be a cause of apprehension for many of us?

    -Galen's player
     
  39. Galad

    Galad Journeyman
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    I was thinking it'll just be Chrissay sooner or later.
     
  40. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Still awaiting full confirmation of issues but it looks like I might have gotten off lucky.

    I will say it makes me nervous to have a shake up and reform at the top just prior to the release of an expansion. Hard enough to focus on a good day.

    Please let them not go changing priorities on our dev team.

    Good luck guys, oh, uh and gals!
     
  41. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    Icewind dale was developed by Black Isle (the Fallout people). Both IWD and BG were published by Interplay. Which went into financial difficulty and sold the IP rights for Fallout to Bethesda. Interplay is making a comeback with that money it got though. And has plans for another Fallout-based game.


    Side track:
    I'm not clear what's happening though, Bethesda is arguing that the 2 year grace (there was a clause in the sale) Interplay had to develop this has expired and interplay is no longer entitled to do this.
     
  42. Black Sun

    Black Sun Grand Poobah
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    I'm pretty sure they're the ones developing the new Star Wars MMO.
     
  43. AesSedai

    AesSedai Guest

    - Just saw this on uo.com.

    My first thought was re: Stormwind & surely several other UO alumni that have been working for Bioware down in Austin on Star Wars-ish stuff these days...
    Then I thought about Richard Garriott too, hehe.

    Interesting news to be sure.

    So, the ol' diehard UO is under at least its fourth version of business structure (EA Origin, EA, EAMythic, & now the new EA Mythic and Bioware group), and still kicking. Hrmm, I hope that tells EA something...

    Take care Mark Jacobs (thanks for your efforts re: UO. A suggestion for ya': believe in the inevitability of RMT's, secure & prosper from them...).
     
  44. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Bioware has worked with Black Isle to produce the Baldur's Gate series (The best story-driven RPG series [not exaggerating]). Granted, the best of the talent seems to have been on Black Isle's part.

    Black Isle (without Bioware) did Planescape: Torment. Which is the best single (non-series) RPG, and has the best story-line (again, not exaggerating). And they did Fallout 1 and 2 without Bioware which are the best open-ended RPGs.

    So I really don't know how much of the talent of Baldur's Gate was from Bioware.
     
  45. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    er, NeverWinter Nights? go to Bioware.com and the game list is right on the menu across the top.
     
  46. Chrissay_

    Chrissay_ Guest

    Honestly there's really nothing to worry about with the Mythic Studio. I do understand why you guys are worried. We aren't moving anywhere and we aren't changing names.

    It's really for the positive for UO and the other Mythic games as we are now in a clearly defined group under the EA umbrella. Prior to the change we were in the same classification as other EA non sports titles. Now we have a leadership that is dedicated to the MMO and RPG communities.
     
  47. Millie

    Millie Guest

    Wasn't it Mark that talked EA in to keeping Uo alive. What if the new in charge guy dose not go to bat for us? I don't trust EA.
     
  48. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Baulders gate 2 = best rpg ever made.
     
  49. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    That's what Jacobs had said, yes.

    Whether or not this was entirely true was another matter. Mark had an....interesting reputation from the little I've read.

    But yeah that worried me too.

    -Galen's player
     
  50. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Thank you.

    -Galen's player