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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » Trent Oster Thinks Fans Negativity and EA Drove Muzyka and Zeschuk from Bioware

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187 posts found
  SuperDonk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/22/10
Posts: 699

9/28/12 10:36:27 PM#121
Originally posted by jerlot65
Originally posted by SuperDonk
Originally posted by jerlot65
Originally posted by Sevenstar61

Link

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/09/28/trent-oster-thinks-fans-negativity-and-ea-drove-muzyka-and-zeschuk-from-bioware/

 

I would say I am not surprised that they would want to quit because of fan negativity. SWTOR "fans" venom could kill every body.

If that were true. the only thing proven is MMO fans are the crappiest fans for anything.  Problem with the cry babys, they dont know technical limitations, they have no patience, and all want something different,

 This is the only thing I can remotely agree with in your post. Consumers in general get testy when they are promised the world and receive a keychain globe. If SWTOR was good, the doctors would be swimming in praise. As far a technical limitations, why isn't every game bad then? Why are some games fun without amazing graphics.

 

SWTOR failure was well beyond "technical limitations".

Listen, I'm not saying SWTOR is a great game and the fans are wrong.  What i am saying is in general, MMO fans, at least teh one who cant find a mmo they like, exxagerate how bad games are.  They cite bugs/graphics/ and all other kinds of stuff and the only solutions they give are mostly ones that cannot be done because of technical limitations. 

Is SWTOR a failure?  Yes, because they set such high expectations on the game and did not meet those expectations, in my eyes, they failed.  But would I call the game horrible?  No.  Would I call the game a completed disaster, No.

The graphics are fine, the gameplay is fine.  If you  took  the hype and scope of this game away and compared it to other video games, this game rocks.  But because of the expectations and just based on the fans of this genre, this game appears to be the worst game ever made.

So to say the two docs may have left due to fan negativity is very possible.  But not because of how crappy SWTOR, but because it wasnt popular and that the fans are so bitter.

And for me, I could never be a game developer.  Becuase to spend years of my life dedicated to creating something.  And then haev that something be crapped on by people who are so bitter as to exaggerate the negatives and be so disrepctful to teh devs.  i couldnt handle it.  i would want to jump thru the screnn.

 And what I'm saying it is not just MMO players, go read reviews of your local resturants or pretty much any product review. If the product is bad, people will not hold back and will bash it to oblivion, if it is good they will praise it as the second coming. You read a lot of MMO negativity because you're on an MMO forum. Saying MMO players are the scum of the earth or the crappiest fans because they are vocal with thier displeasure is inaccurate and a little offensive to me personally.

I want to be Uncle Owen again.

  smh_alot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/10/12
Posts: 990

9/28/12 10:37:14 PM#122
Has the 200m dollar budget ever be confirmed? From what I recall, it was mentioned once, in a newspaper as some figure and there was no real source mentioned in that article. In this age of Fox News style of journalism and generally sloppy news reporting (too many examples to mention), I am quite sceptical.


As for EA, maybe it was BW's fault, maybe it was EA's fault. But it's hard to deny the fact that all game companies that were great when they joined EA, deteriorated quickly. That's simpluy too much of a coincidence. It isn't also limited to EA btw. Companies falling under Activision like Infinity Ward and Blizzard also become prone to a mentality and culture shift, although maybe not that evident. But still. I think it's simply because those big gaming corporations have a different rank of their priorities, which can have pervasive and big consequences in the long term: less fanservice that aren't maybe directly and concretely translatable into money generation, and more focus on production and financial results.



SWTOR wasn't a bad product as an MMO. It just wasn't one that a lot of hardcore SW/SWG fans or BW fans wanted. And (some) sandbox fans will ofc burn any AAA themepark MMO to the ground in their boredom, in the mindset of 'if I can't have any fun, then no one should have any fun and the MMO genre as it is may burn to the ground for all I care' >.>


Like some have said, I think indeed that it was a combination of things that all added up that led to their leaving. I also think that compared to 10-15 years ago there has been a hardening of the mentality of gamers. More boredom, more viciousness and entitlement. I can recall that in earlier years of gaming there was generally a far higher acceptance of features or flaws in games, many of which were far simpler in their gameplay; mechanics, features and flaws that would be burnt to ashes in the current player base atmosphere but were overall accepted or tolerated back then while people still had fun.
  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

9/28/12 10:42:45 PM#123
Originally posted by SuperDonk
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by SuperDonk
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by SuperDonk
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by SuperDonk
Originally posted by Yakamomoto

EA, EA, EA, blame EA, derp

 

Did EA create the railshooter? Did EA chose the Hero Engine? Did EA think it's a cool idea to have planets frozen in time with stiff NPCs?

 

Get over it, BW dropped the ball, EA is a freakin' publisher and not the game developer

 As easy as it is to blame EA, this post is exactly right.

 

EA gave Bioware plenty of TIME and MONEY to create a great MMO, Bioware just royally crapped the bed on this one. If anything the Doctors were asked to leave not the other way around.

That's nice, except BioWare is a subsidary of EA.  So when you say BioWare crapped the bed .. you mean EA crapped the bed .. all the people working in BioWare since 2007 were under the payroll of EA.

 You can't argue that EA didn't give Bioware plenty of time and tons of money to create what EA thought would be a winning MMO. I'm not arguing that EA paid the bills, because they did. What I'm saying is the Devs and the uppermanagement of Bioware are directly to blame for the failure of SWTOR, EA's portion of the blame is less in this case.

 

Most Developers would shine with the budget and time Bioware had to create SWTOR, unfortunately Bioware completely dropped the ball and are now suffering from the coorporate wrath of EA.

When you sell a company, you (in this case the doctors) might want your company to do well by you, but company morale is way low at this point.  If you were ever in a small company compassionate about your work then you would know what they felt .. there is no reason to continue the passion .. Going to work is more about just showing up and performing.  If your heart isn't into it then it simple isn't in to it.  I see no reason why the original BioWare would keep their same passion for gaming once some conglomorate like EA took over and started telling how things should be really done.

 Company morale was not that low right before launch, I seem to remember overbearing cockiness coming out of Bioware. I'm not saying there is no blame to EA, thier history of destroying developers is quite well known. But in this case, I fail to see how EA is entirely to blame considering the budget and time they gave to make this mmo.

 

If the entire failure is because of "morale" then they deserved to fail imo, sometimes you have to man up or shut up and do your job.

I remember that cockiness too, and I now see it as a pack of lies, somewhat .. EA did deliver on story for sure.  I sort of feel like I saw a trailer for a movie where the best 2 minutes were put in the trailer and the rest of the movie stunk.  It's kind of hard, and like I said story (also music) were good, but what a letdown overall.

 

Was there someone else to blame?  You can't blame BioWare because they are a subsidery of EA .. EA already tried multiple times to blame the fans ..who else can you blame?

 

It might be sound, morale can be the death of any person, group, or even country.  If your hearts not in it, there is no reason to perform above anyone else.

 The only real difference between us is I'm seperating Bioware from EA while you're not, and honestly you might be right. But the gist of what I'm saying is SWTOR should of been better considering the time they were afforded and the unprecedented budget they had.

Agree on everything but I'm wondering about the portion in red.  Would a new thread about the buyout of BioWare by EA help?  Just wondering because I see many people confused about the non-existance of BioWare and their parent company EA.

..And the more and more I communicate, the more it becomes evidant that people still blame BioWare for everything. (BioWare was sold in 2007 and ceased to exist, only by name)

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  SuperDonk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/22/10
Posts: 699

9/28/12 10:45:42 PM#124
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by SuperDonk
 

 The only real difference between us is I'm seperating Bioware from EA while you're not, and honestly you might be right. But the gist of what I'm saying is SWTOR should of been better considering the time they were afforded and the unprecedented budget they had.

Agree on everything but I'm wondering about the portion in red.  Would a new thread about the buyout of BioWare by EA help?  Just wondering because I see many people confused about the non-existance of BioWare and their parent company EA.

 The ONLY reason I have been seperating Bioware from EA in this case is the reports before SWTOR launched that EA was being very hands-off for the project. Of course those reports might not of been true and might of been a tactic of EA's to seperate thier bad name from what was a good name for Bioware.

I want to be Uncle Owen again.

  SuperDonk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/22/10
Posts: 699

9/28/12 11:04:19 PM#125

..And the more and more I communicate, the more it becomes evidant that people still blame BioWare for everything. (BioWare was sold in 2007 and ceased to exist, only by name)

 And now you're confusing me. Did EA fire every single dev who worked for Bioware before the purchase? Did the doctors have zero say in the developement of SWTOR? Please enlighten me.

I want to be Uncle Owen again.

  Tamanous

Elite Member

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 1696

9/28/12 11:11:30 PM#126
Originally posted by SuperDonk

Imagine what Trion would be able to create with 5 years and a $200+ million dollar budget.

A bigger clone with even more quest hubs close to each other?

You stay sassy!

  smh_alot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/10/12
Posts: 990

9/28/12 11:24:32 PM#127
Originally posted by SuperDonk

..And the more and more I communicate, the more it becomes evidant that people still blame BioWare for everything. (BioWare was sold in 2007 and ceased to exist, only by name)

 And now you're confusing me. Did EA fire every single dev who worked for Bioware before the purchase? Did the doctors have zero say in the developement of SWTOR? Please enlighten me.

 

Well, I'm guessing that SuperDonk likened it to how when China took over Tibet, or how when the European nations took over North and South America in their expansions: the local population was still there, but it wasn't really their country and culture anymore, not really.

Kinda like how with former big and legendary companies that EA took over, a lot of the devs stayed too after the take over, yet still a significant decline could be noticed starting from the same time as when EA took over.
  SuperDonk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/22/10
Posts: 699

9/28/12 11:35:18 PM#128
Originally posted by smh_alot
Originally posted by SuperDonk

..And the more and more I communicate, the more it becomes evidant that people still blame BioWare for everything. (BioWare was sold in 2007 and ceased to exist, only by name)

 And now you're confusing me. Did EA fire every single dev who worked for Bioware before the purchase? Did the doctors have zero say in the developement of SWTOR? Please enlighten me.

 

Well, I'm guessing that SuperDonk likened it to how when China took over Tibet, or how when the European nations took over North and South America in their expansions: the local population was still there, but it wasn't really their country and culture anymore, not really.

 

Kinda like how with former big and legendary companies that EA took over, a lot of the devs stayed too after the take over, yet still a significant decline could be noticed starting from the same time as when EA took over.

 Bad analogies are bad, smh indeed.

I want to be Uncle Owen again.

  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

9/28/12 11:36:11 PM#129
Originally posted by SuperDonk

..And the more and more I communicate, the more it becomes evidant that people still blame BioWare for everything. (BioWare was sold in 2007 and ceased to exist, only by name)

 And now you're confusing me. Did EA fire every single dev who worked for Bioware before the purchase? Did the doctors have zero say in the developement of SWTOR? Please enlighten me.

I'm getting sleepy SuperD .. but to your question, I doubt every single person in a decision making position was laid off or fired.  But many of them did quit, and some were fired.  The high position spots are now all vacant, waiting to be filled by EA personell.  Gordon Walton, pioneer of the Hero Alpha Engine adoption is big on the list, he quit in 2011 and was the BioWare office General Manager.  Most people know about Stephen Reid (when he left, bye bye customer relations!) There were many others .. but there are still some left .. Olsen, Dickinson for instance. 

Thats not saying much really, for those who remember the SWG NGE. :/

 

Well and if you are talking about programmers, nobody really has names, but I don't recall seeing many bugs in BioWare games prior to 2007.  Same with Origin games too, just as an off example, prior to Origins acquisition to EA in 1992.  Origin used to Create Worlds .. Now  .. /cry EA creates craps and uses Origin as a trademark :(

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  mxbx

Novice Member

Joined: 1/23/08
Posts: 48

9/28/12 11:39:32 PM#130

The mistakes that were made are almost surely mistakes that came "from the top," because it's really the core concept of the game that's the problem; e.g., putting most of the money into voice acting and story elements while phoning in the actual gameplay.  

On the other hand, Bioware's decision to emphasize story over gameplay was rational, because Bioware never has been very good at gameplay.  The problem is, mmos are all about gameplay

Lucasarts just gave the IP to the wrong studio. 

  SuperDonk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/22/10
Posts: 699

9/28/12 11:41:27 PM#131
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by SuperDonk

..And the more and more I communicate, the more it becomes evidant that people still blame BioWare for everything. (BioWare was sold in 2007 and ceased to exist, only by name)

 And now you're confusing me. Did EA fire every single dev who worked for Bioware before the purchase? Did the doctors have zero say in the developement of SWTOR? Please enlighten me.

I'm getting sleepy SuperD .. but to your question, I doubt every single person in a decision making position was laid off or fired.  But many of them did quit, and some were fired.  Gordon Walton, pioneer of the Hero Alpha Engine adoption is big on the list, he quit in 2011 and was the BioWare office General Manager.  Most people know about Stephen Reid (when he left, bye bye customer relations!) There were many others .. but there are still some left .. Olsen, Dickinson for instance. 

Thats not saying much really, for those who remember the SWG NGE. :/

 

Well and if you are talking about programmers, nobody really has names, but I don't recall seeing many bugs in BioWare games prior to 2007.  Same with Origin games too, just as an off example, prior to Origins acquisition to EA in 1992.  Origin used to Create Worlds .. Now  .. /cry EA creates craps and uses Origin as a trademark :(

 Well good night then, I think I'm going to do the same. My point was that Bioware and the people who ran it both prior to the purchase and after still had a lot of say in the developement of SWTOR. EA turns everything to shit that they touch, but the good doctors are not blameless in this mess and neither are some of the other decision makers at what was formerly known as Bioware, may it rest in peace.

I want to be Uncle Owen again.

  smh_alot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/10/12
Posts: 990

9/28/12 11:48:39 PM#132
Originally posted by SuperDonk
Originally posted by smh_alot
Originally posted by SuperDonk

..And the more and more I communicate, the more it becomes evidant that people still blame BioWare for everything. (BioWare was sold in 2007 and ceased to exist, only by name)

 And now you're confusing me. Did EA fire every single dev who worked for Bioware before the purchase? Did the doctors have zero say in the developement of SWTOR? Please enlighten me.

 

Well, I'm guessing that SuperDonk likened it to how when China took over Tibet, or how when the European nations took over North and South America in their expansions: the local population was still there, but it wasn't really their country and culture anymore, not really.

 

Kinda like how with former big and legendary companies that EA took over, a lot of the devs stayed too after the take over, yet still a significant decline could be noticed starting from the same time as when EA took over.

 Bad analogies are bad, smh indeed.

 

Shrug. An analogy is just an analogy, don't make a big deal of it. Whether it's about countries, cultures or companies, when they get taken over you'll often see a culture shift and things run differently than when they were independent. Sometimes to a lesser, sometimes to a larger degree. Reading the last pages, in essence everyone's saying the same, only with different accents. Yes, EA has influence on how things run and are, and no, the BW leaders aren't completely without influence either. Now how much influence and power everyone concerned really had, that's up for debate. Truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.
  smh_alot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/10/12
Posts: 990

9/28/12 11:53:01 PM#133
Originally posted by mxbx

On the other hand, Bioware's decision to emphasize story over gameplay was rational, because Bioware never has been very good at gameplay.  The problem is, mmos are all about gameplay

Lucasarts just gave the IP to the wrong studio. 

 

This is complete and utter nonsense. I've played BG to KOTOR to DA to ME, I had little problem with the gameplay in those games. In fact, they were games that managed to combine good story with fun gameplay. But hey, whatever, to each their own, I guess.
  SuperDonk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/22/10
Posts: 699

9/28/12 11:58:25 PM#134
Originally posted by smh_alot
Originally posted by SuperDonk
Originally posted by smh_alot
Originally posted by SuperDonk

..And the more and more I communicate, the more it becomes evidant that people still blame BioWare for everything. (BioWare was sold in 2007 and ceased to exist, only by name)

 And now you're confusing me. Did EA fire every single dev who worked for Bioware before the purchase? Did the doctors have zero say in the developement of SWTOR? Please enlighten me.

 

Well, I'm guessing that SuperDonk likened it to how when China took over Tibet, or how when the European nations took over North and South America in their expansions: the local population was still there, but it wasn't really their country and culture anymore, not really.

 

Kinda like how with former big and legendary companies that EA took over, a lot of the devs stayed too after the take over, yet still a significant decline could be noticed starting from the same time as when EA took over.

 Bad analogies are bad, smh indeed.

 

Shrug. An analogy is just an analogy, don't make a big deal of it. Whether it's about countries, cultures or companies, when they get taken over you'll often see a culture shift and things run differently than when they were independent. Sometimes to a lesser, sometimes to a larger degree. Reading the last pages, in essence everyone's saying the same, only with different accents. Yes, EA has influence on how things run and are, and no, the BW leaders aren't completely without influence either. Now how much influence and power everyone concerned really had, that's up for debate. Truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

 I can agree with this post, I just thought you were trying to take my arguement in a direction that was unnecessary. Most things are not black and white, they are various shades of grey. The Doctors might be upset about the backlash SWTOR and other Bioware games received over the last couple of years, but they are not victims in all of this.

I want to be Uncle Owen again.

  Purutzil

Elite Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2847

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

9/29/12 12:00:08 AM#135
Sure you can put some blame on them, but I bet much of the problems come from EA. Typically if a game has issues, its the publisher at fault not the developer. Developers who make their game wanting it to be good will typically do what they can to make it the best as possible and willing to take risks, publishers just want the money and in the end, they don't care what they game is so long as it makes them money, and if it means making it something that cashes in initially and is forgotten the next day, they really couldn't care.
  nightsoft

Novice Member

Joined: 1/16/10
Posts: 15

9/29/12 3:22:29 AM#136

I can't say why they left. I can say, however, they were warned....clearly warned during beta. Many MANY times.

 

For one reason or another they ignored those warnings at thier own peril. If they left the company because they released a game that didn't stand up to the addictive quality their prior products had then they made the right choice.

As I Bioware game and a AAA MMO it was, in my opinion, a complete and utter failure. It just doesn't have any meat past the VO and sound.

It's AoC/STO/Warhammer good. It's not WoW/EVE/GW2 good. It needed to be the latter for it to have a chance to hold subs.

At any rate I think the industry is better off. Thier glory days are obviously behind them.

  User Deleted
9/29/12 3:52:34 AM#137

"Far and away I expect their decision to leave was mostly based around the failure of  The Old Republic. People underestimate just how much was riding on SWTOR being a smash success for both EA and Bioware. It was likely the most expensive game ever produced and marketed, and was supposed to propel EA to dethrone Activision/Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, or at least pose it serious competition. It has not, and likely will not, if current figures are any indication."

 

"Some fans may still enjoy it, but their numbers are dwindling and they’re not nearly enough to make the game the hit it was supposed to be."

Expectations were high, perhaps too high. They went all in, gambled and lost. 

 

"But for that game to fail to live up to expectations? It might actually crush you."

What I don't get is, how many people were working on this one title? Not a single soul could come up with half the complaints that the customers came up with in a matter of hours of gameplay?

That they decided to leave, I get it. I totally get it. Try putting yourself in their positions. It seems impossible to me for them to have been oblivious about how good/bad their own game was.

Something else was going on...we might never find out until perhaps some time has passed and a documentary is made about this massively failed project titled Titanic SWTOR: Death of a Dream

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3542

9/29/12 4:33:46 AM#138

As someone who enjoyed the games they made for decades (NWN, BG series in particular) it is sad they've left.

But then again, gaming communities are just some of the most awful ones out there so it isn't surprising.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  gervaise1

Elite Member

Joined: 1/17/07
Posts: 1227

9/29/12 7:42:00 AM#139

EA is one of four EA divisions  - and the only thing above those divisions is EA board (and shareholders).

When independent Bioware will have been driven by the need to "make a profit" - borrowing money from banks if necessary. And whilst people say that if they, Bioware, were independent of EA they would have been able to spend an extra year or two years polishing SWTOR that probably wouldn't have been the case. Employees like to get paid!

As heads of one of the four divisions the two docs will have had significant input into the running of EA including things like internal borrowing and profit targets. In that sense "EA" replaced whatever bankers "independent Bioware" used. 

And as such whatever success or failure might be attributed to SWTOR it sits fair and square with "EA" / "EA Bioware". And for all intents and purposes the two are the same. 

And to be clear EA Bioware is a bigger beast than Bioware; the two docs role having expanded way beyond simply running a single studio.

And EA are "in trouble" as far as shareholders are concerned; hence the fall in the share price. And when that happens people start to look for board changes. Whether they are in trouble or not doesn't matter, until EA stop using the markets to raise funds (via bonds) they need to deliver a certain level of success. It all turns into pressure that filters down the corporate structure. Doesn't surprise me that the two docs left; just add then to the pile of Zynga directors that are leaving!

And here is a link for the latest problem that includes a comment about investors not being prepared to overlook the return on investment on a AAA game in order to gain market share - different AAA game but the primciple is the same. And EA do not publish that many titles these days either! 

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/178493/EA_drops_the_ball_with_NBA_Live_cancellation.php

  erictlewis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3058

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

9/29/12 7:57:09 AM#140

A few months ago I listed in on the board meeting.  One investor asked why he should continue giving EA his money, they ran the because we are ea by that one.  Right after that another investor asked if Richeo or however you spell the ceo's name was going to step down,  ea said that Richeo had their full support.

Not even the investors are happy at this point, it is just not gamers.

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