Departed Bioware Docs Left Due to Fan Negativity, Says Former Bioware Dev [UPDATED]
Mass Effect 3, Old Republic reception may have spurred Muzyka and Zeschuk's departure from the industry.
Speaking with NowGamer, departed Bioware co-founder and developer on Baldur's Gate, Trent Oster, speculated that "fan reaction" weighed heavily on Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk's decision to retire from the games industry.
The last time I met up with [Greg Zeschuk], I felt his exhaustion. 'Punch out, eject, get the hell out,' was my suggestions to him and it hit closer to the mark than I had realised. I also think the Mass Effect 3 fan reaction and the Old Republic fans negativity was too much.
Although Zeschuk's subsequent resignation came as no surprise to Oster, Ray Muzyka was a different story. "I had him pegged as an EA lifer," Oster said. But even then, Oster was not without a possible explanation.
I'm sure the internal culture at EA had pinned the Old Republic conversion to free to play as a failure and hung that completely on Ray, so that would have hurt his upward climb. But, I figured he would fight harder. EA upper management must have been even worse than I thought.
Whatever the ultimate reasons for the two doctors' departure, Oster does acknowledge that fan reception to the company's recent titles probably didn't lift anyone's spirits. "You have to love games and you put your heart into them to create them," said Oster. "To have the fans creating petitions against the work is pretty hard to take. [...] It can be hard to shut off the overwhelming negativity the internet spews forth."
What do you think? Is fan negativity getting out of control? Consider recent reports that fans have sent death threats to another developer for daring to make a sequel a Wii U exclusive. Elsewhere, conversations are gaining momentum on cracking down on cyber-harassment. Are we about to see this reach critical mass
UPDATED: Several hours after NowGamer's story appeared online, Ray Muzyka updated his Twitter with the following two tweets:
@raymuzyka Good websites demand clarity and credibility – lesser ones enable ill-informed individuals to make stuff up about other people.— Ray Muzyka (@RayMuzyka) September 28, 2012
While the tweets do not call out a particular publication it seems very likely these remarks are in response to the NowGamer's article linked at the head of this post. We at Gameranx have remained cautious with respect to our language used here to emphasize that Trent Oster's remarks are his own.