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Peter Moore: BioWare Is “Doing Great”
EA COO Peter Moore has told Eurogamer that BioWare is “doing great” despite recent setbacks that have affected the developer.
Commenting on the last 18 months Moore said: “I think of three things,” I think of Star Wars: The Old Republic, I think of what Mass Effect 3 has done and all of the offshoots we’ve done of that, and then a little bit further back Dragon Age. So from that perspective I think the studio has done great.”
“Mass Effect has been enormous for us. It’s done great,” Moore added. “The public numbers bear that out.”
Mass Effect 3 has generated $200 million in sales for EA and shipped 1.3 million copies in the US, a figure which does not include digital units.
Moore went on to defend BioWare – and its fans – for producing the Extended Cut DLC to appease gamers angry over the controversial ending to the game.
“It’s been interesting with the whole ending thing,” he said. “It’s a fascinating debate. More power to gamers. They have the outlets now. I always say, people are passionate about movies, people really like music, people are into their TV shows.
“Nobody in entertainment has more passion and a bigger megaphone than gamers. And to their credit they put their hands up. A lot of them said, we’re not sure about this ending in Mass Effect 3.
“So the team at BioWare, again, to their credit, said, all right, we’re going to stop a few things right now, the team’s going to go back and provide some DLC, no charge, to provide more context around what went on there. We delivered that recently,” he concluded.
In relation to Star Wars: The Old Republic – which was announced recently as moving to a free to play model up to level 50 – Moore insisted that the game “sold well.”
“Our challenge is we had got a lot of players who played it and got to a point where we started to see churn.
“What has happened is, when we embarked on this massive project, which is to bring the huge world of Star Wars and that universe and those characters to the world of MMO, the world of gaming was in a different place,” Moore commented. “That was a world we felt good about there, that the business model was focused around subscription.
“Fast forward to where we are today and it’s very clear the world has moved on and as such we need to move on. So rather than crying about spilt milk, the team said, we’re going to evolve this into a hybrid model. You can still pay your $15 a month and have all you can eat, everything you want about Star Wars.”
Moore went on to state that two fifths of those who stop playing SWTOR say they do so because of the $15 a month subscription.
“40 per cent of people said, I just don’t want to pay $15 a month. I love the game, but I’m just not into the subscription business.
“The reaction to that is, okay, let’s retool this game later this year into one you can both play on a subscription basis and not worry about it and have everything you need, or one you can play for free and as you manoeuvre on you can choose to continue to play for free and there are micro-transactions that help you accelerate in the game.
“We’re just reacting to consumer feedback by doing that.”