BioWare: 10 million sales is a hit

Zeschuk feels privileged to be able to create blockbusters backed by EA

BioWare's Greg Zeschuk has said that 10 million sales constitutes a hit in the console market.

Speaking to Videogamer, the co-founder of the Mass Effect and Dragon Age studio said that the team hopes its big MMO release for Electronic Arts, Star Wars: The Old Republic, reaches that figure.

"We need to sell 10 million units," he said. "That's actually the new target, right? We do top 10 games, our stuff is quite successful. I know Mass [Effect 2] is number eight so far this year, in North America."

"Sometimes I'm facetious when I say some of those things, knowing that we can sell a few million but seeing that someone else can sell 25. You're kinda like, 'Well, that's a hit!' We always joke that if we only do half as well as Blizzard on Star Wars: The Old Republic, we'll be quite satisfied. We've been very fortunate."

Zeschuk added that he knows the team is in a fortunate position, able to create blockbuster games backed by the marketing muscle of owner EA.

"I think we know how lucky we are. When we're saying that, we always know that we're super-fortunate that we have a nice combination of things going on - really great support from EA, a budget to make great big giant games. We recognise that in a sense it's a privileged position we're in."

Last month Zeschuk warned smaller developers that working on triple-A projects was too risky, with only the studios at the top are able to succeed in an expensive and competitive market.

"It's more competitive than it's ever been, it's more dangerous than it's ever been," Zeschuk told attendees of the Develop Conference in Brighton. "Right now it's precisely the wrong thing to chase."

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Latest comments (9)

Isaiah Taylor Writer/Photographer 8 years ago
So what constitutes a hit for lower budget games?
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Jeremy Gifford8 years ago
10 million. If any game made doesn't reach 10 million then that just means there were x million pirated copies of the game distributed.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeremy Gifford on 28th July 2010 7:44pm

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Greg Zeschuk General Manager, BioWare Austin, EA BioWare8 years ago
Hey - looks like I was shooting off my mouth again!
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Show all comments (9)
Alistair McNally Senior Director of Creative Development, EA BioWare8 years ago
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games8 years ago
hehe i think you did :) 10 million is a bit of a lot :)

Reaching 10 million after some time yeah could be possible and if someone has the potential to do it that would definitely be bioware and star wars.

But on the other hand i don't think many MMOs can pull what blizzard did with wow. This thing pulled fans from many different directions at the right point in time and it became a mass media buzzword. Maybe expecting that much from star wars at this point in time is not very realistic regardless how huge a game KOTOR was.

personally i'd rather see a mass effect MMO :)
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Jeff Wayne Technical Architect 8 years ago
Being a devout Blizzard fan, I'm often quite skeptical of believing anything could drag me away from WoW.

I'm a huge fan of DA:O + it's xpac and also dearly loved X-Wing vs Tie Fighter back in the day, so I'm certainly very interested to see what Bioware can turn out here. If it has the same level of polish and quality as DA:O, is more X-Wing vs Tie Fighter and less (insert any of the previous boring Star Wars fps' here) then it could be amazing imho. Almost like a de-mystified EVE with the Star Wars epicness to appeal to the masses! :)

Were that the case, it would be interesting to see how close Bioware would come to Blizzards subscriber numbers.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeff Wayne on 29th July 2010 11:15am

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Josef Brett Animator 8 years ago
Good luck with Star Wars.

Hoping it's going to be massive and drag a few of my mates away from WoW. It is reeeaaaallllllly boring me now.

Lightsabres are much cooler!
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my hope is, SWTOR will become a hit in termas of gameplay, story and world richness .. maybe then, 10mio are not that far away ;)
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games8 years ago
Don't get me wrong, i am well known among my friends and colleagues for my unwavering support and limitless fanboyism when it comes to two things, Bioware and Nintendo. :)

SWTOR will absolutely be a hit!

i'm not such a huge blizzard fan, although i absolutely love diablo and i have played my very good share of wow among other MMOs, even had my own casual guild.

But to be honest i think that not even blizzard can repeat what they did with wow. It just happened that a very good game came out at a very good point in time and many people had already started being intrigued by this.. "online thing" they got bored and escaped from second life and jumped into a fantasy world that could also be casual. it was a mini facebook thing. a good blend of hardcore blizzard fans, warcraft fanatics (after the huge success and following of DoTA etc. and no sign of any other blizzard game in the horizon), casual gamers, lots of girls who found onyxia to be cute and the visuals non-threatening even silly for the most part. so many small things conspired for this to happen :)

I don't think it can be repeated that easily. And that is why i say only Bioware and Starwars have the potential to do it!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Yiannis Koumoutzelis on 31st July 2010 8:16am

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