BioWare has a legendary history in the video game world, and more specifically among RPG fans. They have created numerous great RPGs, starting with Baldur’s Gate and continuing with Neverwinter Nights, Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins, and more. The list goes on and on. Their next game due for release is the much anticipated MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
BioWare has always been busy, but with the success of games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect, the company was launched onto an even higher platform of importance. By 2008, BioWare had started to become the RPG juggernaut fans know today. They not only announced Star Wars: The Old Republic, but their growth led to EA adding several additional development studios to the BioWare Group.
Then, in 2009, EA restructured BioWare into its own RPG/MMO label based on the studio’s continued success. When asked about what he thought about BioWare being EA’s “RPG studio,” in a great interview with VG24/7, Zeschuk had this to say:
“I think broader. I mean — it’s funny — RPGs are and always have been our bread and butter, our heart is there, but at the same time I think — well, we had the RPG panel breakfast at GDC yesterday — and what was interesting about that was that we had the conversation about ‘what is an RPG’ and it’s a blend. The genres are blending right now, you’re getting lots and lots of progression and RPG elements in shooters — online persistence and so on.
It’s funny because the RPG in the context of the current world is — well, it’s not specifically irrelevant, but it’s becoming less relevant in and of itself. It’s more a function of ‘hey, this game has a great story’. For us having that emotion but also having other great features like combat and persistence of character progression and stuff.
It’s kind of what we are, but more importantly we’re just about great games.”
Does this mean BioWare is branching out and developing non-RPG games? Probably not, but it is obvious that the genre itself is expanding. Role-playing tendencies are spilling over into shooters like Borderlands and influences from other genres are making their way into RPGs like Fallout 3. As video games evolve, the lines between genres will continue to blur and in turn give birth to new genres.
Continue to page 2 for more on how Star Wars: The Old Republic continues the KOTOR series and story!