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BioWare Hopes To Finish Mass Effect Series On 360 41

Posted by Zonk
from the yeah-that's-knights-to-you dept.
In an interview with the folks at Games Radar, BioWare's co-founder and president Dr. Greg Zeschuk discussed their hopes for Mass Effect . Zeschuk commented that the team expects to finish the planned trilogy of games on the Xbox 360 - this is, before this generation of consoles has played out. "Zeschuk: Certainly out intent is to have all three iterations or installments of Mass Effect to be on Xbox 360. That's the goal. GamesRadar: Exclusively to 360 all the way? Zeschuk: Can't really comment on that aspect yet, it's too far into the future. Thinking a year in to the future is a big challenge these days. The law we can't control is the length of the console cycle. I hope, I hope, I hope that this cycle is longer than the last one. We kind of just got started last cycle and it kind of ended when our second game came out. Downloadable content could also bridge the gap by giving you new little islands of story between the big game releases."
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BioWare Hopes To Finish Mass Effect Series On 360

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  • 1 a year then? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:11AM (#20667929)
    So, 1 a year then, eh? Sony's been saying the 360's lifespan is about 5 years, since that's how the original XBox went. If they're correct (and I think they probably are) then there's 4 years left to produce 3 games... Pretty tight, if you plan to actually make changes to the engine. Not so bad if you just plan to change the levels and plot.
    • by Pojut (1027544)
      While I agree with you that they are likely correct in saying that 5 years will be the lifespan, don't accept what one company says about another's products as being the truth.

      You wouldn't believe Microsoft if they had said prior to it's release that the PS3 was going to not do nearly as well as Sony thought, would you?
      • Re:1 a year then? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:35AM (#20668285)
        No, I tempered that with facts... Microsoft does typically have a lifecycle of a few years on their products. Also, most of their games work on 360 and PC both, and it won't be long before the PC's most basic video cards out-do the 360's. MS is going to have to figure out how to keep their console alive when that happens. One option (and maybe the only viable one) is to release a new console.

        I admit it. I'm a sucker, and I'll buy the next MS Console when it comes out, whether it be 4 years or 10. I resisted the 360 for about a year, and I resisted the PS3 for about 6 months. (Getting the PS3 used and super cheap had a lot to do with that, though.)

        I'm not yet convinced that Mass Effect is the next Halo, though... They've been advertising it as an RPG and it's extremely hard to get a long-running RPG series. Planning to have 3 of them before they even start reminds me a lot of Advent Rising... AR even got Orson Scott Card to write the plot, and where's the second game? I haven't even heard anything about it.

        Anyhow, I think they'll need a LOT of luck to manage to get all 3 Mass Effect games to market before the 360 goes the way of the coelacanth. (Extinct, but with a few copies that didn't know they should be dead.)
        • Re:1 a year then? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:43AM (#20668407) Homepage
          As far as PC's outdoing the 360...well I mean that's par for the course, isn't it? Typically when a console is released, it offers better graphics and more power than it's computer counterparts....generally within a couple months (and in some cases, before the console even launches) the pc has already surpassed it's abilities...Oblivion in 1080P still doesn't look nearly as good as it does on the PC in the same resolution. This isn't a new development, this is just how things have generally worked for a long time.

          And you know what? So long as PC gaming requires upgrades every 6 months-1 year (and expensive upgrades at that), the market will NEVER be as big as console gaming.

          Mass Effect won't be the next Halo, because they are entirely different games...I know this doesn't necessarily apply to EVERYONE, but generally the people that I see that are Halo-obsessed are what I refer to as "Madden Gamers"...I highly doubt I really need to explain that one to you...

          Mass Effect is being developed by Bioware, and if their track record is any indication it's going to be an amazing game.
        • Re:1 a year then? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Kelbear (870538) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:50AM (#20668505)
          Heh, well so long as the Xbox360 gets itself into enough hands before a new console completely destroys it's appeal, they can still reap profit from releasing on the Xbox360 instead of the next-gen console(that's right, I'm calling the Wii, Xbox360, PS3 current-gen now). The Xbox360 doesn't need to be better than the new consoles to sell more copies, since although the new consoles will undoubtedly have neat features going for it, the new consoles will also need a good userbase and rate of adoption while the Xbox360 may have already established itself.

          The PS2 is an extreme example(and I seriously doubt the Xbox360 will do as well), but it does show that a console can potentially hang in there to survive against the following generation for a while.

          Still, it does seem a little optimistic to declare the hardware you'll release the 3rd game on before even the 1st is gold. Poor Advent Rising...they blew their budget and didn't leave enough to strain out all those horrendous bugs. It was a pretty fun game otherwise, I wish it could have done better.
          • by ivan256 (17499)

            The PS2 is an extreme example(and I seriously doubt the Xbox360 will do as well), but it does show that a console can potentially hang in there to survive against the following generation for a while.

            The PS2 isn't really extreme. It's basically always been common industry practice for successful previous generation machines to remain in the market during, and in some cases beyond, the next generation. A successful console's lifespan is about the same length as two console generations. Only the failures ar

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Grave (8234)
              The 360 will live longer than five years - Microsoft has already alluded to this. They have also said that the 360 will stick around and be supported even after the next generation launches. However, I don't see them continuing to support the 360 as substantially as Sony is supporting the PS2. A lot of early 360 adopters were people who had XBOXs and saw that if they wanted more new games, they either had to buy a 360 or jump sideways into a PS2. Now, I'm not saying PS2 owners would go for the PS3 if th
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by ivan256 (17499)

                Now, I'm not saying PS2 owners would go for the PS3 if the PS2 new game well were dried up, but I have to think that more of them would do so. The PS2 is a bit unusual, because it is really outselling the PS3. Did the PS1 continue to outsell the PS2 10 months after the PS2 released?

                The PSOne didn't actually come out until months after the PS2 came out, so PlayStation sales were pretty flat for a while, but they pulled even for a good long while, and stayed fairly strong for over a year after the PS2 came

          • by LKM (227954)

            The PS2 is an extreme example(and I seriously doubt the Xbox360 will do as well), but it does show that a console can potentially hang in there to survive against the following generation for a while.

            I think the "winning" console has always managed to hang on a lot longer, on some cases (such as the VCS 2600 or the Game Boy) even surviving the next generation of consoles.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by brkello (642429)
          That's not really a fact. There is no typical with the Xbox considering we are just on its second iteration.
        • by steveo777 (183629)
          Yeah, more support for over-zealous RPG epics would be Xenosaga [wikipedia.org]. Being basically a prequel to Xenogears [wikipedia.org], most people expected great things. What they got was a boring FMV with some RPG elements. (can you sense that I was one of those people let down...?) Originally, Xenosaga was to be a six part series. This would be working off the popularity of Xenogears.

          I'm very much looking forward to Mass Effect. And there is little doubt that it will be a great game. I just hope they don't blow it on the sequels

          • by MMaestro (585010)
            But theres a catch in this case. Bioware has stating that they're planning on using downloadable content to expand on the Mass Effect games for several months/years now and given the overall success of Xbox Live Marketplace, they might actually have a chance of pulling it off. A couple side-quests every few months and an "expansion" every Christmas would be easy given Bioware's love for leaving tons of unexplored characters/backstories/areas in their games. Hell, KOTOR 2 (the "good ending") literally ended
      • Or that the Wii would be a smash hit with Grandparents and others who have no clue what a REAL videogame is. I bet money the Wii would be vaporware but then it was called the revolution... Still like that name more, and now I'm out $50.
        • by Pojut (1027544)
          I figured the Revolution/Wii was going to do well, but I never imagined it would do THIS well.

          I just hope that the 8th gen consoles that Sony and Microsoft put out don't try to emulate the Wii with motion controls (which Sony is already semi-guilty for with their 7th gen machine) That would be really bad...innovation, people! (Yes I am aware that innovation and coming up with something original is harder to do than to say...no, I have no idea what they should do to innovate...if I knew, don't you think I
          • by Aladrin (926209)
            I hope exactly the opposite... I hope they have the sense to make wii-like wands, but keep the current joypads as well. In fact, the PS3 is poised to do that in this generation... They can firmware upgrade at any time, and the bluetooth will connect more than 1 kind of controller to it. (I've got a bluetooth tv-style remote for it.) If they simply re-shape the controller and keep the motion sensing, they'll have a wii-mote for the ps3.

            I love my Wii, but the pitiful resolution always shocks me when I sw
            • by LKM (227954)
              As far as controllers go, I think Nintendo had the right idea: Make the Wand the main controller, but allow other controllers to be plugged into it. I hope the next gen consoles ship a standard/classic controller along with the Wand controller for those games that make no sense with the Wand. I understand why Nintendo was forced to not include a classic controller - otherwise, most devs would simply have used that one.

              At the end of this gen, "Wand" control will be more established, and consoles can go back
              • by Aladrin (926209)
                I would have far prefered that the 'classic' controller not plug into the wand. It's annoying. It could simply have been a nice wireless controller, like everything else in this generation. Instead, I end up balancing a wiimote in my lap while I futz with the cord from the classic controller while playing.

                I disagree that 'everyone' would have used the classic controller, too. The whole point of the Wii was the Wiimote and that's what would be used whenever possible. On the other hand, travesties like S
                • by LKM (227954)
                  On the one hand, I would have preferred a stand-alone classic controller, too. On the other hand, the classic controller costs 20 euros, and the PS3 controller costs 50 euros. For 30 euros, I'm willing to put up with hooking it to the Remote. Just put the Wii Remote in your pocket, that's what I do.

                  Super Paper Mario is one of the games that might have used the classic controller, but in my opinion, it's also one of the games that works really well with the Remote. Playing it actually feels a bit like playin
    • So, 1 a year then, eh? Sony's been saying the 360's lifespan is about 5 years, since that's how the original XBox went. If they're correct (and I think they probably are) then there's 4 years left to produce 3 games... Pretty tight, if you plan to actually make changes to the engine. Not so bad if you just plan to change the levels and plot.

      Probably 1 every other year, which seems about right. Console life cycles are in the 5-6 year range (unless you're Sega). MS went out in 4 years just to get a jump o

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PhoenixOne (674466)

        "The question is do you want that 3rd one to be one of the Swan songs of the platform (Like God of War II) or one of the Launch titles for the new one and use the new tech available?"

        I'd like to see Mass Effect 3 squeeze every last drop from the XBox360 and make us question why we need a new system when this old one can still rock.

        Then I would love to see Bioware release a totally new game series on the new platform that makes us forget all about the 360. :)

        • by AbRASiON (589899) *
          I'm still playing last gen Xbox 1 games which make me wonder why we needed the PS3 or 360 in the first place?

          Both of them launched a year too early in my opinon.
          • Yes, Microsoft really rushed the entire market this generation.

            If they waited a year (or two), maybe 1 out of 3 360s wouldn't need to be repaired. The PS3 could of cost 1/2 to 2/3 the price. And the Wii could of used a next generation graphics.

    • by brkello (642429)
      Why would you believe what Sony would say about their competitor's product? The original Xbox was what they used to break in to the market and learn from. It had a short cycle because they wanted to take what they learned and be first to market this time around. Things do change with each generation, you know.
    • How can a post be insightful if it can't even do basic math?

      The first game is almost out. Which gives them four years to do two games (1 every TWO years). Which is about how long most new game projects are designed to take.

      Since BioWare will probably build on the tools and engine of the first game, the second and third should be much easier (not trivial, but easier). I would guess 18 months between each game (given the huge amount of content).

      • Considering that the first KOTOR came out in July of '03 and Jade Empire came out in April of '05 (and now Mass Effect is coming out in Novemeber of '07) I would tend to agree with the above poster. If they stay within the current gen console they don't have to worry much about meeting new specs or anything, and can use essentialy the same engine with each release (with modifications as the system gets older and they learn how to tweak it more). That means it should be completely feasible for them to rele
    • Sony's been saying the 360's lifespan is about 5 years, since that's how the original XBox went.

      That's a poor yardstick. There was an article on the Xbox's end of life a few issues back in OXM. Microsoft was losing money on the Xbox and couldn't get the cost down because they built it with off the shelf parts. Just continuing to makes XBoxes was losing them money. With the 360 they control the hardware front to back. Like Sony and Nintendo have always been able to they can now take advantage of re-en

      • Considering Microsoft's history with hardware manufacturing (including joysticks), I doubt they'll get costs down much. They admitted before launch that it might be the one issue that Sony would have a leg up on them with -- Sony's ability to continually improve yields and margins on product over the years.
  • I'm just excited to hear that Mass Effect is set to be a trilogy. Had this been announced before?
    • by wezeldog (982156)
      I think it has been. My take is that Bioware is moving towards having more original "properties" that they have control over. They are also developing Dragon Age with a completely new rule set and settings. With ME, my understanding is that there will be updates issued between full games. In addition they are expanding to other media with at least novels, a la Halo. It'll be work to get them out in that time. This version is a little late. I pre-ordered late 2006 for Jan 2007. Disappointed, but I'd rather
  • by Kohath (38547)
    A developer of a game that's not out yet hopes to release more games in the future on the same platform.

    "Hopes" for the distant future of an unproven game franchise aren't really news.

    There will be plenty of actual news from the Tokyo Game Show this week. It's no big deal, but there's no need to post this kind of thing unless you're using it to test your internet connection or something.
    • I think the news here is that Bioware is planning a trilogy (I don't know if it was announced before or not). Those of us hoping for an epic SF story have something to look forward to. Bioware's good with the story element so we may see some depth. If they meet their intentions this should be an awesome interactive graphic novel. Though the valley of hype, guarded by John Romero's roving and restless soul, is littered with the bones of those who have failed. Keep your fingers crossed.

      Swi

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