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Alex Freed (the guy who wrote the IA storyline) leaves BioWare

ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,396Member Uncommon

http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1206964-Writer-of-IA-Storyline-Alex-Freed-leaves-BioWare

Another one. I guess there's nothing surprising here. I liked the IA storyline, so hopefully he can find a job in a better company.

Comments

  • JonokuJonoku Cool, PAPosts: 645Member
    http://twitter.com/AlexanderMFreed/status/254249187422662656 Its a shame really, and yes not suprised. I'm starting to think Daniel Erickson will grab all his top tier story tellers that have written with him to start something up.

    Looking at: The Repopulation
    Preordering: None
    Playing: Random Games

  • MardukkMardukk Posts: 1,557Member Uncommon
    The IA story was quite good and probably the best thing about SWTOR that I experienced. It really had you hating the Sith. I wish him luck as he clearly has what it takes to write a compelling storyline.
  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    Every day it gest worse and worse you got to wonder who is left now.

     

  • JonokuJonoku Cool, PAPosts: 645Member
    Originally posted by erictlewis

    Every day it gest worse and worse you got to wonder who is left now.

     

    EA employees, old bioware is dead. if you see swtor only think of EA arrogant bastards.

    Looking at: The Repopulation
    Preordering: None
    Playing: Random Games

  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon
    But... but... if I recall corectly... majority of mmo players don't want a story but more sandboxy stuff... maybe that's the direction SWTOR is going LOL

    image
    Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
    Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
    Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  • JonokuJonoku Cool, PAPosts: 645Member
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    But... but... if I recall corectly... majority of mmo players don't want a story but more sandboxy stuff... maybe that's the direction SWTOR is going LOL

    Wannabe themeparks and Wannabe sandbox=fail. You would have to start from scratch to make a sandbox. You don't make a themepark and then try to go sandbox, doesn't work that way. You don't make SWG try to be themepark like WoW. Also, stories belong in SRPGs IMO.

    Looking at: The Repopulation
    Preordering: None
    Playing: Random Games

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    When most of your senior staff jumps off the ship, you best start to worry.

    First the doctors ,  Dickerson, now this fellow.  Not to mention all the other names we seen in the past month.  Just saying there sure seems to be a mass exodus now.

    Folks can clam oh this happens all the time when a game gets up and running,  yes there is some churn but nothing like this.

     

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    But... but... if I recall corectly... majority of mmo players don't want a story but more sandboxy stuff... maybe that's the direction SWTOR is going LOL

    SWTOR is far, far, far, from a sandbox game.

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tayah
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    But... but... if I recall corectly... majority of mmo players don't want a story but more sandboxy stuff... maybe that's the direction SWTOR is going LOL

    SWTOR is far, far, far, from a sandbox game.

    Not saying that it's going to be a sanbox game, it will never be, but there might be a change in direction.

    From what I read though, based on August interview, most of the future stories were already written, the question is open when/if they will be introduced. So I guess there was no need for extended set of writers sitting on their butts and wiggling fingers when they cut staff and reorganize.

     

    image
    Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
    Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
    Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  • BardusBardus Cornet, ALPosts: 460Member
    How much work does a story writer have? It's not like TOR is a weekly sitcom LOL. There hasn't been any story added to any class after launch has there? What exactly did this guy do to still be employed, I mean, couldn't he have written the story years ago? What's he been doing all this time, donut pickup?

    image

  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Bardus
    How much work does a story writer have? It's not like TOR is a weekly sitcom LOL. There hasn't been any story added to any class after launch has there? What exactly did this guy do to still be employed, I mean, couldn't he have written the story years ago? What's he been doing all this time, donut pickup?

    ^This LOL. And  they can always get him back if need arrives.

    image
    Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
    Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
    Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  • BetaguyBetaguy Halifax, NSPosts: 2,590Member
    The point of this is that a company I have known and bought from for over 10+ years went down the tubes because of a corporate money monger.

    image

  • KakkzookaKakkzooka Waterbury, CTPosts: 591Member

    It'll all be over in a short while now. LucasArts won't stand for the degradation of the brand name, EA won't stand for the maintenance expenditures when they could market a game that will bring in revenue.

     

    Hopefully, the industry will be able to turn this into a positive by stressing to developers to focus on originality and quality over the quick-dollar grab. I think that all gamers and game designers will benefit from this in the long run.

     

    Let's stay positive and look at the good that will come from this.

    Re: SWTOR

    "Remember, remember - Kakk says 'December.'"

  • UhwopUhwop Wilm, DEPosts: 1,663Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by erictlewis

    When most of your senior staff jumps off the ship, you best start to worry.

    First the doctors ,  Dickerson, now this fellow.  Not to mention all the other names we seen in the past month.  Just saying there sure seems to be a mass exodus now.

    Folks can clam oh this happens all the time when a game gets up and running,  yes there is some churn but nothing like this.

     

     Yeah, I'm not getting the "this is normal" or "it happens all the time" comments I see when people start leaving the STUDIO they worked for. 

    You do not normally have a large chunk of your staff up and leave a studio because a project is finished, they either continue to work on that project or they end up working on another project.  If a bunch of people start leaving the studio then something is going on that's causing people to leave or forcing them to find a new studio. 

    I'm not seeing a bunch of low level devs who moved up in Bioware during the development of ToR, gained the experience that would be needed to head up their own project, and so moved on to form their own studio to make their own games.  Normally developers tell you that that's what they decided to do,

    When people suddenly decide it's time to retire, or just up and leave with no real explenations, it usually means they were forced in some way to move on or they're unhappy. 

    It wouldn't suprise me in the least if what we're seeing is EA asking people to resign after ToR didn't meat expectation.  EA would very likely require everyone leaving to sign an NDA as well.  That's normal.  EA sunk hundreds of millions into a project, several years of development, and for what?  So they could have the most expensive F2P MMO on the market?  No, EA is most likely removing those people that they think are reponsible for not delivering the MMO success they expected ToR to be. 

     

    I'd now like to draw your attention to Mythic, WAR, and the exodus of developers after the release of WAR.  Yeah, it's perfectly normal for a bunch of developers who made an MMO that underachieved to leave after the project is done.  When you work for a studio purchased by EA, that didn't live up to expectation.   

  • AhnogAhnog Keller, TXPosts: 231Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kakkzooka

    It'll all be over in a short while now. LucasArts won't stand for the degradation of the brand name, EA won't stand for the maintenance expenditures when they could market a game that will bring in revenue.

     

    Hopefully, the industry will be able to turn this into a positive by stressing to developers to focus on originality and quality over the quick-dollar grab. I think that all gamers and game designers will benefit from this in the long run.

     

    Let's stay positive and look at the good that will come from this.

    If you want to stay positive stay positive about the game itself.

    Ahnog

    Hokey religions are no replacement for a good blaster at your side.

  • grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,873Member Uncommon

    This is interesting.  Do we know if he left of his own accord or was forced out?

    Seems like EA is definitely cleaning house.  Not really a surprise with the latest news.  I definitely believe they are not going to abandon this project but are putting their resources into moving it into a different direction.

    Be interesting to see how everything goes after next month.

  • smh_alotsmh_alot Area 51Posts: 976Member
    Originally posted by Uhwop

    I'd now like to draw your attention to Mythic, WAR, and the exodus of developers after the release of WAR.  Yeah, it's perfectly normal for a bunch of developers who made an MMO that underachieved to leave after the project is done.  When you work for a studio purchased by EA, that didn't live up to expectation.   

     

    Of course the lack of big success of SWTOR and leaving of the Doctors has an impact, and an effect on others leaving. It isn't as if it's never happened before with other companies, game related or otherwise. Also, it isn't as if a couple of key figures leaving has only 1 outcome. In the period of 2003-2005, a majority of the key figures that were behind Diablo's success, Battle.net, Starcraft and WC3 left Blizzard bc of differences of opinion and vision among others. 30-40 of them. They went to found Flagship, Arena Net, went to NC Soft and ended up making games like Hellgate London, Guild Wars and Torchlight. Yet Blizzard continued up till now, even if it didn't had that top quality of games it had in the 1998-2004 era anymore.


    The most important loss is the 2 Doctors. I compare it with Steve Jobs leaving Apple the first time. Even if Apple continued and kept existing, it was less than it was under Steve Jobs. Something that became apparent when he returned and they achieved mega success again. The others, well, not everyone's equally important to the success or high quality of a game, some are easier replaceable than others. Sort of like how in a major league football team some players are more key to the success of a team than others who're easier to find replacements for.
  • UhwopUhwop Wilm, DEPosts: 1,663Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Betaguy
    The point of this is that a company I have known and bought from for over 10+ years went down the tubes because of a corporate money monger.

     When did Bioware become this grand company with the ability to think outside the box and create new and unique gameplay mechanics? 

    I must be the only person on the planet that sees a studio that created an MMO using pretty much all the gameplay and story elements they've used in the past.  ToR is basically Dragon age meats Nights of the Old Republic.  Bioware is no different from any other studio, most of them have a development philosophy that dictates the way in which they'll make games.  Bioware developed ToR using the same kind of development philosophy that they use when making all their singleplayer games. 

    ToR is exactly what you would expect of a bioware game.   Anyone not living undera  rock, who has played Bioware games in the past, should be able to sit down and play ToR without knowing Bioware made it and know that Bioware made it. 

    It plays like a bioware game.

    It has the same elements as other bioware games.

    It delivers story just like other bioware games. 

    How is EA to blame for Bioware being Bioware and making a typical Bioware game.  They aren't.  Bioware and EA are guilty of the exact same thing, thinking that what worked in single player bioware games would make an MMO a huge success.  Neither of them had the forsight to see that you can not develop an MMO with the same development philosophy as you do your single player games, some things just don't translate well. 

  • UhwopUhwop Wilm, DEPosts: 1,663Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by smh_alot
    Originally posted by Uhwop

    I'd now like to draw your attention to Mythic, WAR, and the exodus of developers after the release of WAR.  Yeah, it's perfectly normal for a bunch of developers who made an MMO that underachieved to leave after the project is done.  When you work for a studio purchased by EA, that didn't live up to expectation.   

     

    Of course the lack of big success of SWTOR and leaving of the Doctors has an impact, and an effect on others leaving. It isn't as if it's never happened before with other companies, game related or otherwise. Also, it isn't as if a couple of key figures leaving has only 1 outcome. In the period of 2003-2005, a majority of the key figures that were behind Diablo's success, Battle.net, Starcraft and WC3 left Blizzard bc of differences of opinion and vision among others. 30-40 of them. They went to found Flagship, Arena Net, went to NC Soft and ended up making games like Hellgate London, Guild Wars and Torchlight. Yet Blizzard continued up till now, even if it didn't had that top quality of games it had in the 1998-2004 era anymore.

     

    The most important loss is the 2 Doctors. I compare it with Steve Jobs leaving Apple the first time. Even if Apple continued and kept existing, it was less than it was under Steve Jobs. Something that became apparent when he returned and they achieved mega success again. The others, well, not everyone's equally important to the success or high quality of a game, some are easier replaceable than others. Sort of like how in a major league football team some players are more key to the success of a team than others who're easier to find replacements for.

     That's the point I was making. 

    40 developers didn't leave Blizzard because they were done on a project, they left because of internal issues with the company. 

    What's happening at Bioware isn't normal, in-so-far as people have finished a project and it's time to move on.  These are Bioware employees, not contracted workers.  It isn't normal for a large group of employees to just up and leave because they finished the immediate job they were working on, unless something is wrong. 

    They're either unhappy, or in my opinion being asked to leave. 

    I do not believe for one second that EA, who will soon own the most expensive F2P mmo on the market, isn't cleaning house of everyone they feel is responsible.  Right down to the doctores themselves, who were likely informed that there would be some drastic restructuring in Bioware. 

    If I was the doctors, I know I wouldn't want to stick around to watch my company get dismantled and people I hired and worked with for several years let go.  I'd sign an NDA and simply retire. 

  • ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 7,906Member Uncommon
    Aww too bad, the IA story was quite cool. Ok, the Sith Inq. too. I loved my good side endings on the Empire faction. ^^

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by Uhwop
    Originally posted by smh_alot
    Originally posted by Uhwop

    I'd now like to draw your attention to Mythic, WAR, and the exodus of developers after the release of WAR.  Yeah, it's perfectly normal for a bunch of developers who made an MMO that underachieved to leave after the project is done.  When you work for a studio purchased by EA, that didn't live up to expectation.   

     

    Of course the lack of big success of SWTOR and leaving of the Doctors has an impact, and an effect on others leaving. It isn't as if it's never happened before with other companies, game related or otherwise. Also, it isn't as if a couple of key figures leaving has only 1 outcome. In the period of 2003-2005, a majority of the key figures that were behind Diablo's success, Battle.net, Starcraft and WC3 left Blizzard bc of differences of opinion and vision among others. 30-40 of them. They went to found Flagship, Arena Net, went to NC Soft and ended up making games like Hellgate London, Guild Wars and Torchlight. Yet Blizzard continued up till now, even if it didn't had that top quality of games it had in the 1998-2004 era anymore.

     

    The most important loss is the 2 Doctors. I compare it with Steve Jobs leaving Apple the first time. Even if Apple continued and kept existing, it was less than it was under Steve Jobs. Something that became apparent when he returned and they achieved mega success again. The others, well, not everyone's equally important to the success or high quality of a game, some are easier replaceable than others. Sort of like how in a major league football team some players are more key to the success of a team than others who're easier to find replacements for.

     That's the point I was making. 

    40 developers didn't leave Blizzard because they were done on a project, they left because of internal issues with the company. 

    What's happening at Bioware isn't normal, in-so-far as people have finished a project and it's time to move on.  These are Bioware employees, not contracted workers.  It isn't normal for a large group of employees to just up and leave because they finished the immediate job they were working on, unless something is wrong. 

    They're either unhappy, or in my opinion being asked to leave. 

    I do not believe for one second that EA, who will soon own the most expensive F2P mmo on the market, isn't cleaning house of everyone they feel is responsible.  Right down to the doctores themselves, who were likely informed that there would be some drastic restructuring in Bioware. 

    If I was the doctors, I know I wouldn't want to stick around to watch my company get dismantled and people I hired and worked with for several years let go.  I'd sign an NDA and simply retire. 

    Yeah I'm getting the same vibes too.  Something was up with the doctors leaving, and it wasn't the fans negativity, as claimed by Trent Oster (http://www.cinemablend.com/games/BioWare-Co-Founder-Ray-Muzyka-Defends-Passionate-Fans-Blasts-Gaming-Journalists-47573.html).  Ray Muzyka shot down rumors and speculation and chastized the press for putting words in his mouth over why he left, although he didn't clarify exactly why he did leave.

     

    It could be the doctors were asked to leave, or be fired.  Voluntarily leaving would save face if they wanted to start a new business (after non-compete expires), and would be more cost effective for EA, in the short term at least.  If they go back into video games, it could end up being costly to EA for losing them.

    Richard Garriott likely had a similar experience when EA bought and dismantled his company, Origin Systems, Inc, in 1992.  He had resigned as well.  Years later, NCSoft may have tried the same approach of quit or be fired, but ended up firing Richard Garriott, after one of his hiatus's to the International Space Station.

    Richard Garriott had the last laugh I suppose and went out with a bang, sueing NCSoft for wrongful termination and lost stock options, for a total of 28 million $$ and winning (http://massively.joystiq.com/2010/07/30/richard-garriott-wins-lawsuit-against-ncsoft/).  A year later NCSoft lost their appeal and Garriott received around 32 million $$ in compensation and damages (http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/10/25/appeals-court-affirms-richard-garriotts-lawsuit-win-against-ncs/).  Way more impressive than just resigning eh? lol .. at some point I guess game developer leaders just say, "ah screw it all".

     

    But then again the doctors could have just been so disgusted with EA that they were counting the minutes until their 5 year post-BioWare-sale employment obligation would expire.  They didn't leave single file .. they were both running for the door at the same time ...  that part is suspicious.

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,071Member Uncommon

    If he letf of his own accord then that probably indicates low morale and/or people seeing what s coming. If his position was cut then the writing is well and truly on the wall.

    How much work can a story writer have? Well as a F2P game SWTOR is gong to have even more content every 6 weeks .... obviously not story! (Red dye week 1, blue dye, week 7, the fix for what the introduction of what the blue dye broke, green dye week 13 ... they have lots of great things we are just dying to tell everyone about I am sure - when they get the OK to finish them.

    As to people not wanting story I thought it was people wanted either more than just story or a lot more story; an awful lot more story. Clearly they are going to have to wait. 

  • RemyVorenderRemyVorender Riverside, RIPosts: 3,266Member Uncommon
    The IA story line was the only reason I played this game for more than a week. It was very well written...especially compared to the rest of the stories.

    Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
    ESO, FE, FFXI, FFXIV, FF, GW1, GW2, Istaria, L2, LoTRO, MO, MxO, NW, Rift, RoE,
    Ryzom, SB, SWG, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, WAR, WoW, WURM...

  • GweyrGweyr hyattsville, MDPosts: 93Member
    Originally posted by erictlewis

    Every day it gest worse and worse you got to wonder who is left now.

     

    Jeff Hickman ;)

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