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Bioware: “The real EA doesn’t hurt us” – hints at next game and confirms more ME3 DLC

A Q&A session with several BioWare employees and community managers earlier today revealed the company’s thoughts about its parent company, EA, as well as teasers about the company’s next title and content (sadly, it’s not Jade Empire).

While you can find the entire transcript of the session here, one particular exchange centered on the role EA has taken in BioWare’s recent output. When asked “I know you may not be able to honestly answer this due to legal reasons, but do you really feel that EA is hurting your company and whether they deserve the amount of hate they are receiving,” BioWare employee EvilChrisPriestly responded:

  • “So how do I answer this with you believing my answer is genuine and not influenced or whatever? I don’t think EA hurts BioWare, except in the reputation that EA has which I feel is unjustified. So a false impression in the minds if gamers hurts, but he real EA doesn’t hurt. Does that make sense?”

Clearly, there are limits to what the employees can say, but the distinction between a perceived EA and a realistic EA, interestingly, has been prevalently discussed in the past year. Not only did The Consumerist‘s audience name EA worst company in America (admittedly, a little harsh compared to other companies on the list), but internal downsizing and recent rumors of the company’s potential sale have lent credence to the recent clamor that EA has begun to move away from its position as a leader in the gaming industry.

Additionally, a few other questions provided a glimpse into where we can expect from BioWare in the next few years. In response to a question about a potential sequel to Jade Empire, the answer from EvilChrisPriestly was while “I hope someday we do return to the Jade Empire, [. . .] currently we have no plans.” The answer doesn’t completely close the door on a sequel, but, while that may eventually happen, it’s clearly not a priority for the company.

What is a priority, however, is next Dragon Age sequel. When asked if the game was in any stage of development, the given response teased that we’ll be soon seeing more about it: “Nothing we can talk about currently, but the team is interested in getting your feedback. There will be a new Zdragon (sic) Age question of the month soon.” While it’s not Jade Empire 2, a new Dragon Age title – especially after BioWare has shown its willingness to accept constructive criticism of Mass Effect 3 – could either further deviate fans who feel underwhelmed with the company’s past two offerings or restore part of the company’s perceived lost of quality. While I enjoyed ME3 (giving it a perfect rating, original endings and all), the feedback for the game indicated that some gamers will only return to the company through what they feel is an exemplary title.

Finally, while we’ll have to wait to see what the next BioWare game will be, DLC for Mass Effect 3 continues to be released, and the Q&A hinted that a specific fan favorite reaper may soon be coming by way of DLC. Harbinger, one of Mass Effect’s more popular enemies and focus of ME2‘s DLC Arrival, might one day make an appearance in ME3. When asked, ” [W]as there a legitimate reason that Harbinger was not in the game and will Leviathan shed some light on the Harbinger situation,” community manager Jessica Merizan responded with an answer that should give hope to all of us who can’t wait to see the baddie once again:

  • “I don’t believe so but that is far above my pay grade! [. . .] Harby as he’s affectionately called is just one of many many reapers. He was important in ME2 because he was the herald, the reaper who scouted ahead and foreshadowed what was to come. There’s lots of great plots and unfortunately we can’t shed light onto all of them. I can’t say that we won’t expand on Harbinger’s purpose either, so try Leviathan.”

In the meantime, we can expect more ME3 DLC, as EvilChrisPriestly confirms: “There is definitely more DLC coming for Multiplayer as well as single play, but we can’t reveal the details yet.” The news is expected, but we’ll have to see where the DLC takes the game.

More information as we get it. As always, stay tuned to our website and twitter – @darkzerouk – for more updates!