I’ve talked about the importance of stories and story pacing multiple times over the past year. I haven’t really mentioned the importance of character or characters in gaming.
After researching the overall review scores for Bioware games after purchase by EA, I found that “quality” didn’t necessarily go down. The review scores stay pretty high. The overall score went down by two points compared to pre-EA Bioware.
However, sometimes Bioware games just miss their mark. Mass Effect: Andromeda was the first major failure, maybe Dragon Age 2 but that series didn’t get put on hiatus after its release, unlike Mass Effect.
Another idea that makes me think EA hurt the overall quality of Bioware’s game lies in the realm of DLC. I think it’s hard to judge DLC before and during EA because DLC wasn’t really a thing until well into the 360/PS3 generation. I do think the amount of DLC per game can have an impact on the overall quality. I expect the full game when I purchase at MSRP on release.
Each Bioware game now comes with DLC. To be fair, many contemporary games offer DLC after release. But, we are talking about Bioware so I can only compare different Bioware offerings.
Mass Effect Galaxy, an iOS game, was the first Bioware game to be published by EA. But, I’m not going to include a mobile game. I just don’t think mobile games have a place in this particular conversation. With that being said, this marks the transition to Part 2 of my series looking into Bioware. This article will focus on Bioware games that have been published by EA.
Again, I’m going to use Metacritic and their Metascores as a means to keep everything fair from the first part. I would like to point out that although review scores don’t completely capture the quality of a game, they can be used as a quick baseline reception of the game from multiple sources. I think it’s also important to note that Bioware is a multi-team company by itself and many teams helped develop some of these games. But, I don’t think it’s fair to differentiate between teams of the same name.
I hear people often say that “EA ruined Bioware” or some variation of the sort. I’ve always wondered if it’s true. I’ve been a fan of the studio since the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire. When I played those games I didn’t really understand gaming studios or the creators of games. Eventually, Bioware would become one of my favorite game studios. Lately, I’ve been wondering if EA’s acquisition of Bioware actually did “ruin” or hurt the developers. Let’s find out.
TL,DR: At the bottom, as usual.