Bioware is a powerhouse in the gaming industry after the success of their recent games Mass Effect II and Dragon Age II. They have released many stunning games since their founding in 1995, including Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, and Mass Effect. They have essentially become the Pixar of the RPG Gaming world. Their games are well written and engaging, and now anything with the Bioware name on it is expected to be remarkable. So what is next for them?
Dragon Age II, a sequel to their dark fantasy RPG game from 2009, was released last Tuesday and is one of the top ten pre-ordered games of all time. Mass Effect III is slated to be available for purchase in November of this year, just in time for the holiday season. The long awaited title Star Wars: The Old Republic is also supposed to be released at some point this year. This game is set in the same universe as Knights of the Old Republic and it looks to be an exciting merging of their signature RPG style and current online gaming concepts. Fully voiced NPCs, conversation wheels and NPC companions will be combined with the quests, leveling and group play found in typical MMORPGs. It has the potential to be a breath of fresh air in the oversaturated online RPG market with its class-based character arcs and cinematic feel.
Outside of game specific news, it was announced in 2009 that Bioware would be restructuring and combining itself with Mythic Entertainment so all of Electronic Arts’ RPGs would be contained in one area of the company, and they are opening a new studio in Galway, Ireland this year. There is at least one game in development other than The Old Republic and Mass Effect III, but no details on it have been released.
But despite all this exciting news and the quality of their recent releases, I have to wonder if they have anything new on the docket. With the exception of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood for the Nintendo DS and Jade Empire for the Xbox, all of their releases have been within a small area of inspiration. There are numerous Neverwinter Nights expansions, Baldur’s Gate and its sequels, the KOTR games, and Mass Effect and the Dragon Age franchise. But even Dragon Age is said to be the “spiritual sequel” to the Baldur’s Gates games. These are all great games and fun universes, but will we see something new from them anytime soon? It makes sense to create sequels to their very successful Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises, and every game company with any sort of money is attempting to take a share of the MMORPG market away from Blizzard. What about a psychological horror game, or a modern dark fantasy? A Bioware-style RPG set in H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos could be phenomenal. I love the option to import previous games in their RPGs, so the story you’ve already played is extended and everything becomes more epic, and I love their game universes. But I worry that they may be turning into a one trick pony – the same trick done over and over, however excellently, will become boring and unimpressive eventually about situs casino online terbesa; that has provided a good report about the portals facilities and quality management. The Old Republic might be the answer to this, but it might also go the way of The Age of Conan and other MMORPGs. World of Warcraft dominates the online gaming sphere, and it is a behemoth to beat, so no matter how refreshing or well done The Old Republic is it still might not thrive. I have a lot of respect and love for Bioware, and I want to see them continue to grow and be successful, and falling into a pattern of releasing many sequels to their games might not be the best move.
Only time will tell, however, and right now Bioware has a docket full of games to release to thousands of excited fans. The short answer to the question of “what is next” is basically successful, profitable releases of Mass Effect III and The Old Republic. Beyond that, only Bioware knows right now.