Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Company News Report: BioWare Montreal scaled down, Mass Effect series on hiatus

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, May 12, 2017.

  1. KyivAfter12amgender: ⚧ Learned

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    I didn't say it will help them.
     
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  2. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    :martini:
     
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  3. Make America Great Again cvvgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Good point but it's not necessarily a decline per se. I remember Dan Vavra warning a few years back AAA games are becoming so expensive, what with the ever increasing demands on visuals, VO, cinematics and open-world, that most of them will never recoup the costs, given the price can't exceed 60 bucks. Something's gotta give he said.

    Andromeda might just be the herald of the end of an era, like Infi wrote. Everything about this game screams ambititions too big, a budget too small and development cut way too short. Maybe the only way to keep making triple A RPGs going forward is to make them in Eastern Europe or the third world, with talented keyboard jockeys working for a borscht a day and a bottle of vodka a week.
     
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  4. Zerielgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I don't think the "games are so expensive to make, we're running out of money!" thing is inevitable. Rather, I think it's something the companies did to themselves and it's a pointer to an industry that is doing TOO well and awash in cash, not one that's struggling to stay afloat. It's a symptom of an industry where companies have gotten bigger and bigger by buying out their competitors (or just squashing them with piles of cash they can't compete with). It's the Walmart effect. People don't shop at Walmart because only Walmart can possibly sustain the onerous burden of putting products in a store, they shop at Walmart because Walmart ground out every competitor into the fucking dust with nasty business practices. If the big AAA publishers didn't feel the need to make 100-million-dollar games our frame of reference for AAA would be AA, aka all those fun games we played growing up.
     
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  5. decafgender: ⚧ Learned

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    Didn't Andromeda take 5 years? Witcher 3 took 3.5 years. Same number of devs at >200 (Andromeda) and 240 (W3). How's that too short? Team inexperience?
     
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  6. Joined on the 4th of Julygender: ⚧ Magister

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    remember when EA was a bad guy in this comic?
     
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  7. Make America Great Again cvvgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    I don't know man. What you're basically saying is "Bioware got too ambitious, they should go back to making smaller, cheaper and scaled down corridor shooter RPGs again". Lot of people are saying that now btw.

    But I can't help thinking if they actually did that they'd face the same scorn and eventually sink into irrelevance as the developer "stuck in the past". Once you raise a bar of expectations it's very hard to push it down again, especially with the much cheaper and equally able competition from the Eastern Yuro and Asia.

    5 years should be plenty but it proved too short for MEA, clearly. Team experience prolly played a role too, also the engine. W3 was built on W2 engine, MEA on a brand new one, by a brand new team.
     
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  8. Wonderdoggender: ⚧ Neckbeard Shitlord's alt

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    It's all a coincidence bro. And people only like twitcher 3 over dragon turd because twitcher 3 has better FX :lol:
     
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  9. Make America Great Again Kem0sabegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Bioware should have done a kotor game instead of Andromeda or inquisition.

    At least the Austin studio was semi capable with the setting when they released the old Republic mmorpg, tho that degenerated quickly as well into a bunch of shit expansions.
     
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  10. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    They've made a mistake of trying to chase industry trends and paid the price. They've had their own thing going with Mass Effect and first Dragon Age, the games lacked in exploration but made that up with tightly designed levels and experiences, it wasn't some RPG heaven but it was fun to play it its own right and it was different from what other AAA devs were doing.

    Instead of sticking with that approach they went full steam on open world exploration focus with DA:I and Andromeda, while obviously lacking the resources to really fill those large worlds with content to the level CDPR or Bethesda do it. The result was predictable from the start, shallow games full of filler that can't even satisfy casual gamers.

    It's like with all these GTA-clones (Sleeping Dogs, Saints Row etc.). Decent enough games in and of themselves, but people are going to compare you to industry leader, and Rockstar has fuck you money to invest in their games and polish them to perfection, and whoever tries to take them on ends up looking stupid.

    Bottom line, if it works, don't try to fix it and if you already have a large core audience, make sure they are satisfied before chasing some bigger goals.
     
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  11. Zerielgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Nah, I think it's more systemic than that. It's something that happened to the industry as a whole, just as Walmart and Costco destroyed mid-tier retailers. You'd be blaming huge companies like EA, if anyone, and even then they're just reacting to the massive amounts of money being injected into the industry when suits realized "Hey, this is going to be the new film industry."

    Speaking of Bioware, money seems less important than competence. There are games with smaller budgets that seem far better put together than Andromeda. Hell, I always felt that Bound by Flame, a fucking budget project by Spiders occasionally had better animation and art than some of Bioware's "great" titles, not even speaking of Andromeda. Money is useful, but Andromeda sure demonstrates it guarantees nothing, you can waste it on a bunch of unqualified interns. Based on the result, they'd have been better off having a bunch of unpaid modders to throw together their game.
     
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  12. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

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    The problem is that it wasn't large enough. BioWare were/are stuck in the "3 million ghetto". Lots of hype, very popular with the sort of people who participate in communities on the Internet, but not actually played by many "normies" beyond that.

    Which is of course, more evidence of BioWare's incompetence. The hype they had with Mass Effect was a huge starting advantage that many developers would have killed for, and they squandered it.

    So basically I guess I disagree with you. I think they COULD have filled those large worlds (even Obsidian managed to do this once FFS). They weren't some no-name dev, they were BioWare, with EA's marketing muscle at their disposal. They could have broken through.
     
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  13. Wonderdoggender: ⚧ Neckbeard Shitlord's alt

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    First you say socjus crap and perversion has nothing to do with their failure. Then you claim they are stuck in da ghetto. SO what stuck them there, the patriarchy?

    You really have some highly deceptive arguments when games touch politics.
     
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  14. Neanderthalgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Bioware bein ambitious? Maybe to create bloatware, busywork an cosmetic bullshit, but they've been fallin back on the same old shit for ages now, every game has protagonist bein an unworthy saviour in a blatant power fantasy, everybody else bein incompetent, gameworld an narrative half arsed to say least, an fallin back on accessibilty an streamlinin instead on improvin an challengin player. Implementin an open world cunt save em, it only highlighted flaws in their designs, they make borin, unoriginal an uninterestin games, that they don't bother to portray or flesh out wi any detail.

    If they've got ambition its for wrong fuckin things.
     
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  15. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Obsidian got to work with proven technology that was created exactly to build this kind of experiences. Don't underestimate how much of advantage that is. I've seen Feargus comment on F4 bugs, and while he acknowledges the buggy nature of the beast, he also praised how it enables devs to quickly pushing out lots of content.

    When you look at all the Andromeda's animations hiccups, it's obvious Bioware run into technological problems and ended up having to cut corners just to push the thing out of the door.
     
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  16. Make America Great Again Kem0sabegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Frostbite is a very good engine tho, and vastly more stable and optimized than the shit Bethesda uses.

    It was simply down to professional ineptitude by Bioware devs, also cost saving measures seem to have played a part in it.
     
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  17. Davarisgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    A company like that would have difficulties selling product, and major problems attracting and retaining talent. Really good technical people are quite rare, they can go anywhere in the world and name their price. Why would they want to work in a toxic environment when there is better? And isn't it interesting that people are also citing technical issues? :smug:
     
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  18. Wonderdoggender: ⚧ Neckbeard Shitlord's alt

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    One of the worst things about being a programmer is dealing with nonprogrammer fucktards telling you what to do. If they are some anti-white scumbags and you are making a porn simulator it has to be a truly intolerable experience.
     
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  19. Make America Great Again Athosgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Infinitron Bioware tried to chase the open world bandwagon not because the customer forced them but because the suits did. They were not a dinosaur doomed to extinction but judt an animal out of its element. They could have improved their traditional linear formula and the dudebros would have loved it. You can't put aside the reduced trust by their audience when it became apparent that the "masters of storytelling" had lost their charm and refused to face their problem. This is what the "SJWism" really is.
     
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  20. Mark Richardgender: ⚧ Savant

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    Half a dozen senior employees bailed during the development of Andromeda. Every ship needs it captain, and I don't think Bioware has enough key people left with a creative vision strong enough to survive across 200+ team members without becoming a diluted grey sludge.
     
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  21. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Is there any traditional linear formula game not named Call of Duty that hits open world game numbers? And of course, you shouldn't be naive. The reason Mass Effect was pushed as hard it was by EA (compared to Dragon Age) was because of the success of Call of Duty. They switched from one bandwagon to another.

    I dunno, maybe if they'd tried hard enough they could have succeeded at creating a Call of Duty of RPGs with twenty million copies sold per game. But the open world route seemed more promising (because it probably is).
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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  22. Make America Great Again Trotskygender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Andromeda didn't create new problems it simply exposed existing ones. Bioware and Mass Effect were in sharp decline for years sadly Bioware Montreal is taking the fall.

    For me its three strikes and you're out. People should have been fired after critical and in some cases commercial flops like Dragon Age 2, Old Republic, and Mass Effect 3.
     
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  23. Make America Great Again Athosgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    That's bad judgement by EA, to make Bioware competitive against big open world games in general (GTA, AssCreed etc.) They would have to restructure the studio and their work routine entirely, scrapping also their established reputation and fan expectations in the process. If, more modestly, they wanted to take on Bethesda and go after the Skyrim money they should have done the tricky thing the poles managed to do, that is reaching a good balance between narrative content and open-world gameplay bdcause to be a total Skyrim killer they would have to do the themepark, with modding on PC, again something totally out of their pedigree. They could have stayed smaller in scope with the open world content and mask that with a focus on the narrative but they blew this balance in Inquisition. Then the Witcher 3 came out, now alone on the hype train, and stole the show, managing to put even Fallout 4 in the shadow for the critical acclaim. To compete, EA gave full control of a game bigger in scope than Inquisition to a support studio with no experience on development of AAA open world games and that was just total stupidity because after the Mass Effect 3 debacle and the overall reduced trust in the Bioware fanbase the name alone wasn't enough to bring big sales. If they wanted ME:A to succeed they should have put on hold whatever MMO crap they had and give the game to the main studio without expanding Montreal, finding maybe a couple of writers who are not complete hacks.
     
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  24. Make America Great Again vonAchdorfgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Why? Isn't TW3 basically what BW fan expectation of an open world BW game would have been? Story, C&C, Characters?
     
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  25. Riddlergender: ⚧ Scholar Patron

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    Bubbles In Memoria

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