BioWare is home to some of the biggest RPG franchises in all of gaming. Mass Effect is arguably their most important brand, and a new iteration is coming this spring. BioWare is back on the task for bringing a new Mass Effect to gamers, but its original wasn’t always adored by companies like Microsoft.
Microsoft was one of the publishing partners with BioWare and EA on the original game. However, they did not always see Mass Effect for what it was back in the day. Greg Zeschuk, who co-founded BioWare, spoke about how Microsoft believed the original Mass Effect was too much like Xbox’s marquee brand, Halo.
“We had a really hilarious set of conversations about what Mass Effect was with Microsoft because they were just not getting it. I shouldn’t say they weren’t getting it. I should say they were concerned it was too much like Halo. So they kept trying to push it to these ridiculous non-confrontational story game things. They thought it was too close to Halo,” Zeschuk told GI in its latest issue.
There are similarities between the two brands, such as they both take gamers into space. However, as history has played out, the two brands couldn’t be more different. Zeschuk spoke about serious changes they made to Mass Effect in the months prior to its launch.
“There were a couple things along the way in Mass Effect we did, things like completely changing the combat system two months before we shipped and did a bunch of aggressive changes,” Zeschuk said.
The fact that major changes were happening to Mass Effect that close to launch, made some folks feel uneasy. Microsoft was one of the companies that raised an eyebrow at the sudden changes. Ray Muzyka, who co-founded BioWare, spoke about Microsoft’s reaction as well as the valuable feedback they received from player testing.
“Interface changes as well because it wasn’t working two or three months before launch. I think it scared the s— out of our publishing partners at Microsoft…You know, we can actually thank them at the same time because their usability labs were awesome. We needed that feedback of players playing the game in the real world who weren’t familiar with it who were just like, ‘This isn’t fun,’ or, ‘I just don’t get what I have to do next.'” Muzyka said.
Mass Effect Andromeda is the new iteration coming to the series this spring. EA and BioWare have yet to announce an exact release date, though one will be given soon. The game will launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Mass Effect.