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Fallout From the BioWare/Pandemic Buyout 89

Yesterday's announcement of EA's purchase of BioWare and Pandemic took a lot of people by surprise. Today, there's some more information, reactions, and assurances from the people involved in the move. First and foremost: Mass Effect should not be affected by this purchase. The future of the series is still up in the air, but the game we've all be waiting for is still slated for a November 20th release exclusive to the Xbox 360. EA held a conference call about the buyout soon after it was announced, and answers a number of questions about specifics. FiringSquad has a feature on the reaction from the developers, and that piece has some assurances that EA's CEO John Riccitiello has the best interests of the new acquisitions at heart. Gamasutra has a Q&A with Pandemic's management team, which wants to point out that Pandemic/BioWare and their parent company drove this deal forward; this was not a hostile acquisition. Likewise Gamespot has a chat with the BioWare co-founders, who are equally excited about the deal. This may have been surprising, but if the two companies were onboard with this move it can hardly be dire, right?
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Fallout From the BioWare/Pandemic Buyout

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  • game over (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aurisor ( 932566 ) on Friday October 12, 2007 @09:44AM (#20952737) Homepage
    Anyone else feel like you're in a zombie movie and your best friend just got bitten?

    Me: Bioware? Bioware!?
    Me: Nooooooo!

    *cocks shotgun*

  • by dtolman ( 688781 ) <> on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:00AM (#20953017) Homepage
    Yeah - but EA isn't a town - its a continent. As long as they aren't working out of the same office (and keep their release dates a few months apart), I'm sure they'll never realize they ain't the center of the EA universe...
  • Re:the MMO? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:20AM (#20953359) Journal
    No idea whatsoever. However, part of me wonders if the MMO is related. Perhaps Bioware did a serious look at the costs involved in setting up and maintaining a large-scale MMO and decided that they wouldn't be able to get the ball rolling without some serious financial backing.

    Running an MMO game world with hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of players in a persistent environment, with tens of thousands at the very least per server, is very different to managing the community for something like NWN, where players do much of the hard work and hosting. Blizzard and Square-Enix both found the jump tricky in some respects (although both of them undoubtedly got there in the end).
  • Dumb move by EA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CHK6 ( 583097 ) on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:52AM (#20953927)
    If John Riccitiello thinks this acquisition will help EA he's overly optimistic. Not because Bioware is a shill (in fact the opposite), but if I was a Bioware employee with a large stake I'd cash out now before stepping back into the corporate culture and schedule demands. So EA paid through the nose to pay for a major stake holder position, yet it's that money that gives employees no incentive to stick around. Maybe Bioware's employees have no stake in all of this, but I doubt the principle developers don't have a monetary stake. But there are so many other companies getting all lathered up thinking about taking those wanting to jump ship. Maybe a RPG in the EVE universe? Also take that many of Bioware's Austin employees are ex-EA peeps, I doubt bad blood is washed clean.

    The gravy trained just pulled in to the station. Get off now because the next leg of the trip is over a rickety and unproven wooden bridge. The last few trains that came along the EA route derailed and burned.
  • Re:Hardly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Miltazar ( 1100457 ) on Friday October 12, 2007 @11:00AM (#20954077) Homepage
    That is exactly why this went forward. What just because a company went along with it, somehow it changes the fact? EA still is EA, whether this is a hostile take-over or them dumping piles of cash on Bioware. Origin Systems went willingly as well, what happened to them? Oh yeah, their founders eventually realized it was a bad idea and left. Now the company that had some great franchises, such as Wing Commander, Ultima, etc, now only makes Ultima Online expansions. The truth is that they did it for the money. After a few bombed games we'll hear how the bioware staff/founders are leaving, etc.
  • Re:Dumb move by EA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GregPK ( 991973 ) on Friday October 12, 2007 @11:03AM (#20954115)

    Every person I've worked with that was involved with EA takeover in some way pretty much took thier Cash and left.

    A great number of good games could have been made had EA not done thier best to destroy them. Or release everything they make with Serious bug issues.

    Microsoft back in the early days of gaming did everything they could to foster the creativity of gaming into what it is today. With big budgets, big parties, big group gatherings.

    God those were the days when I was happy to be in the industry. Now I'm happy to be out of it and buy a few slect games every year.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner