BioWare May, Gasp, Do Something Other Than Fantasy Or Science Fiction

Role-playing maestros BioWare, developers behind Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect and Dragon Age, are good with fantasy. They're good with science fiction. With anything else? Well, that's up for debate!

In an interview with Gamasutra, BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk is asked whether the developer will ever consider setting something in the modern, real world, to which he replies "That's something we've absolutely debated over time. As we look forward, that's something we consider more and more. It's interesting, I think."

Of course, the blend of action, exploration and dialogue the company has made its secret sauce over the years can be easily transplanted to other times and places. "You can imagine the cop drama set in the Mass Effect sort of framework. You can imagine a spy adventure in that context. I think actually that what's happened is our ability to conceive and understand different game contexts has evolved. Then that starts opening up new platforms into things that are maybe less traditional than we have historically [done] ."

Putting aside the fact there already has been a spy drama in that context - Alpha Protocol - the man makes a promising point. Developers constantly turn to fantasy and/or science fiction as an escape, but as series like Yakuza and Shenmue show, sometimes the mundane and "real" can be just as alluring for gamers.

BioWare 2011: The Doctors Speak [BioWare]


    Will the retrieve their spirit from the dungeon that is EA headquarters?.. no wait, that's Fantasy, they're going to do something new.

    Bioware RPG racing game!

    I'd like them to make Alpha Protocol 2. It'd be nice to see the ideas fleshed out by a developer that knows how to bug test.


    Oh wait, Dragon Age 2. Sorry, I've tried to suppress that from my memory.

    Fire that horrible Hepler woman and keep her the hell away from Bioware's games.

    She drove Dragon Age headfirst into the ground with her terrible writing and now she's working on Mass Effect

      I assume you're referring to this?

      It's an obvious fake. Hepler is on maternity leave and doesn't even work on Mass Effect...

        Ah so it is fake.

        After seeing an interview "killer women" (or something like that) did with her I honestly wouldn't be surprised if that pic was real.

    They should totally make a gritty post war crime drama set in Anycity USA. It could be a bit like Mass Effect with a lil bit of 3rd person shooting shenanigans, but the real focus would be on the indepth conversations that Bioware do so well...

    I want to be enthusiastic about this.

    Pretty much any game with the same well-written combination of great characters, story and attention to detail could be fantastic.

    But I'd reserve judgement until we get any actual announcements.

    I'd like to see Bioware take a swing at Alpha Protocol... but they're starting to bug me a little, their games have become so formulaic.

      Can you really say that any other developer is different though?
      Bungie made 5 Halo games, all pretty similar.
      Nintendo are no different with their staple series.
      Companies like Bethesda and Blizzard have similarities between their various IP's

        Yeah but can you name another developer that has gone from creating great masterpieces like KOTOR and Baldurs Gate 2, NWN ME JE and DA:O.

        and then come out with radically consolised games like DA2 and ME2

          Maybe I'm not the best to comment on that, only having played KOTOR, ME and ME2 (all on PC). Personally I loved ME2, but Bioware is a company, they have to make a profit. Obviously they can't keep every single one of their supporters happy, but if "consolised" games is what makes them the money that allows them to keep making games - I'm all for it.

            ME2 was good but different and seeing as it was a sequel to an RPG heavy game and managed to have less complexity as an RPG than some of the math's games they have for primary schoolers.

            DA2 though is where they showed their true colors, a completely rushed game. with reused area's.

            I half expected it to suddently be like Diablo 2 and just have the same 4 sprites attack me as well just colored differently

    Bioware makes horrible games now in my opinion. I found Mass Effect 2 to be a quarter of the game the first one was and comparing Dragon Age 2 to Dragon Age Origins is like comparing a mouse to an elephant..

    CDPR is the new RPG king.

      They make terrible sequels is what your looking for i think. Normally handing them off to obsidian :P

      becoming way to console and EA tainted lately

    Yeah after playing Witcher 2, it made Bioware's Dragon Age seem rather pale in comparison. It doesn't help that most characters in Bioware games are all the same, with different races and names to mix it up a bit. Sometimes they'll only change the texture (Looking at YOU Carth Onasi/Kaiden Alenko).

    I love Mass Effect in it's entirety, but you're better off sticking to what you do well. Otherwise you get Dragon Age 2.

      I can't wait until they convert that to consoles.

    BioWare is only going up in my books, loved ME2 and DA2. I'd like to see something really political set in current time. Or maybe a 17th century RPG.

    They could do a Japanese dating sim. They've already got practice in the sex scenes...

    I don't know about this. I'm struggling to think of what type of RPGs set in the modern, real world would interest me.

    A spy game would be ok I guess but there's already one of those. I like the idea of a cop drama game but I'd prefer it to be similer to Heavy Rain rather then a BioWare style rpg.

    Honestly I'd prefer them to stick with ME and DA for a while longer. Expand on those two universes further. Actually if they want to do a more modern day setting they could always make a game set in DAs future or MEs past.

      Oooh, what does the Chantry look like in 2011!

      I was about to say ME's past wouldn't really work, but no, they've actually got pretty good fodder there. Even before the humans found the Mass Relay, they'd discovered Eezo on Mars, and found later that it had a role in creating biotics. From just that alone, you could create a pretty awesome story about the people investigating the new tech, government power play about it, fears about what this meant for Earth warfare, ethical issues with the biotic kids, etc. etc. The key would be to get a well written protagonist, and a fun game mechanic. It being Bioware, they'd have the first part no problem. The second would be the risk factor, but hey they'd probably make something at least decent. It could finish with humanity discovering the Charon Relay, which leads into Mass Effect very nicely..., I kind of want this to be real now.

    Is this because they played The Witcher 2 recently and decided to abandon the RPG genre due to being way outclassed?

    Works for me, Mass Effect 3 will likely be the last Bioware game I buy anyway.

    Pick up the cancelled Pirates of the Caribbean RPG...simple

      I still maintain that the Xbox RPG was a bloody decent game although not without it's serious problems.

    Medieval England and throw in some crusades!

    Something akin to The Secret World would be pretty sweet... modern setting, but with a layer of normalcy peeled back a bit so things like urban legends and monsters and tales used to frighten children are kinda real. Throw in a bit of moral ambiguity instead of being a saint or being a butthole, and I'd be sold.

    I'm not really a huge Bioware fan, and my main gripe is that their games tend to feel like they're refining their mechanics and just trying to find a skin to put them over. So I'm a little worried that they're using phrases like:
    “You can imagine the cop drama set in the Mass Effect sort of framework. You can imagine a spy adventure in that context..."

    Which kind of sounds like "Let's just rehash what we have in a new skin and sell it because it's Bioware." I'd like to hope they push some boundaries because their mechanics have been pretty influential on modern games. They would have some tough competition these days though with titles such as Heavy Rain, L.A. Noire and the previously mentioned Alpha Protocol given their tendency to focus on story and interaction.

    I wouldn't mind bioware making adventure game ala monkey island

    Its a pretty rare genre nowadays

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