If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

The Doctors Will See You Now

Muzyka and Zeschuk on growth, Star Wars and all things BioWare

GamesIndustry.bizAn MMO is a very long term commitment, you can't just release it and forget about it.
Ray Muzyka

That's totally right. It's a long term commitment, that's the way we're looking at it. It's definitely not a fire and forget but more of a... we have a really aggressive plan post launch to build content and take the feedback to heart that we're getting from players and what they want for continued expansions, and use that feedback to build new content, so we're releasing regular content drops and regular expansions after launch, and really accommodating what the players are asking for, dependant on what they find most fun in the game.

GamesIndustry.bizBut the ongoing subscription revenue must make it a worthwhile?
Greg Zeschuk

We've surveyed users, know a lot about what they expect, and that's actually one of their expectations. So the two really big expectations from users are one, that really good reliable service and number two, is constant content. So we're asking for them to stay with us for years, so we reciprocate by giving them stuff to do for years, and that's a fair trade and that's very important.

Like Ray said it's ultimately driven by them, finding what they like the most. We may have plans right now but after we've launched for a few months we might go "whoah, we never expected that this would be so popular, we'll make more of these and less of these."

It's very fan driven. It's not reactive, you watch what people are doing and you learn. One thing that we've done with the testing that's really interesting also is that we've changed people's behaviour. So you can test how often people are grouping, and you change the content and they group a different amount, based on what you've done. So you can actually adjust their behaviours based on what you give them to do in the world, so you can gently direct them where you want them to go but also see what they do a lot of.

GamesIndustry.bizI imagine there's a feeling that this is a fairly safe bet for Bioware, working with a licence like Star Wars?
Ray Muzyka

It's daunting, because the expectations of the fans are so high. They come in to it with set expectations that we have to look to exceed, so we're taking that commitment, we're not taking it lightly at all. We don't assume anything about "oh, just because it's Star Wars it's going to be easy." Actually quite the reverse, in many ways we had a higher bar to exceed because of the legacy that those movies and George Lucas' team have set out for us. It's a big honour for us to work in that universe. And I think we're rising to the challenge. I think the content really has that aspirational fantasy captured.

Greg Zeschuk

You play it and it's the right scene, the right music...

if we're going to work on a non Bioware property its got to be something we really believe in and are passionate about and that our team is really passionate about.

Greg Zeschuk, BioWare
Ray Muzyka

You get this chill down the back of your neck, and you're like "wow, that's cool." Like the first time I got in a spaceship and went to Tatooine and saw this landscape, and they you go to all these other iconic worlds, new worlds as well, and all these familiar and new creatures, and all these iconic classes that are based on types from the movies. There's just something really moving emotionally, when you see that.

I think the mythology of Star Wars is pervasive through a lot of the culture, it really is captured in the game.

Greg Zeschuk

I think what we also try to do with licenses, we only work on things we really love. So if we're going to work on a non Bioware property its got to be something we really believe in and are passionate about and that our team is really passionate about. And second we treat it with reverence. We treat it as if its out own, with the same kind of care and attention. Some people think its an easy route to bigger sales, and I think especially nowadays that proved to not be the case, I mean the movie license games, unless they're great games they're doomed right?

Ray Muzyka

If you use it with reverence and respect it can definitely be an opportunity to engage that larger audience you're talking about, you just have to do it with high quality.

Greg Zeschuk

It tends to be more multiplied. Getting a Star Wars game really really right can take you places you couldn't go otherwise. I think that's when the really exciting things, like Ray said, for the Star Wars fans it's just so authentic. And we've got with something that's character and story driven, so each character class story, it really feels like you're exploring the back history of Star Wars, how does a bounty hunter come to be, or a Storm Trooper. It really feels like you're almost behind the scenes of the Star Wars experience.

Ray Muzyka

It's wonderful working on this game with LucasArts, we've had a partnership over the last ten years or so with them, and the amount of partnership we get in terms of collaboration on things like sound effects and music, voice acting, and the canon and being able to help develop that. Being privy to some of the back story of the universe, it's been a thrill. I mean we're big fans ourselves, our team is as well.

Topics in this article

Follow topics and we'll email you when we publish something new about them.  Manage your notification settings.

Rachel Weber avatar

Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.