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Thursday, January 21, 2010
How Bioware Conquered The Role Playing Game
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

Now Gamer has published a new interview with Bioware founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka. The two veteran RPG developers discussed the company's history, the development of the successful Baldur's Gate series, Neverwinter Nights' fan community, and the company's approach to crafting Dragon Age.

“The RPG was in trouble,” Muzyka concurs. “People would tell us it was dead, but the thing is, we just didn’t believe them. We always felt that a great story, great characters, great world, profession systems… there was always a place for that. A lot of it was based on the confidence we had, having played a lot of those games in the past. We felt, ‘Hey, we can add something to that mix. We can bring back what people loved about RPGs in the Eighties’. And we’re always trying to keep doing that. Things change and we’re always adding new things, but the core goals remain unchanged.”

Baldur’s Gate put the doctors BioWare to the test: they had to resuscitate an ailing genre, stitching together pieces of past classics – Wizardry, Wasteland, Ultima, Pool Of Radiance – as they went along. The result was one of the most original games of the decade, one that set the stage for more or less every Western RPG made since, where the themes of choice, morality, and love were made paramount, and expressed through open-ended gameplay. “This was the first time we had a chance to really see our vision,” Zeschuk explains, “which is to create an emotionally compelling narrative where people really felt that they were part of the story. It was a great start.”

The game sold slowly at first but built up momentum at a surprising pace, eventually becoming one of the highest-selling RPGs of the Nineties. “It was a very slow burn,” Zeschuk adds. “It was one of those unusual games. It sold more each month. Right at the end of December, it turned out by February, we were selling more than January, then March, April… it was a few months in, and it looked like it was going to be a huge commercial success.”
Read the full interview at the page listed below.

Now Gamer: Medicine Men

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