BioWare is at its best when it's creating all-new worlds, which is why the announcement that it's working on a new intellectual property has me well geeked. After EA CEO Andrew Wilson revealed the new project in a conference call yesterday, BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn wrote an official blog post to share just a touch more information with fans.
"As our CEO Andrew Wilson mentioned, we’re creating a unique IP that will bring players together in exciting new ways," Flynn wrote. "There’s much more to say in the coming months, but for now, I wanted to offer this additional background.
"In 2012, we began crafting a new universe full of new characters, stories, and gameplay. Our ambition is simple: Draw upon 20+ years of development knowledge and lessons to create something fun and new for you to enjoy with your friends."
'Bringing players together' and 'enjoying it with your friends'? Sounds like the new project has a heavy emphasis on multiplayer. BioWare's modern reputation is largely built on single-player-focused adventures like Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect. But it also has a strong history of multiplayer games, all the way from 2002's Neverwinter Nights to the still-active MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.
There was also that 4v1 multiplayer game Shadow Realms, which BioWare canceled back in early 2015. That was the last big new franchise the studio unveiled so hopefully this one goes better. At first I wondered if BioWare had salvaged some of the elements of Shadow Realms' occult, modern-day adventure setting for whatever this new project is, but Flynn noted that "there’s nothing quite as exciting as building a new IP from scratch" (emphasis added) so that may not be the case.
Like I said before, I'm excited to see BioWare flex its world-building muscle again. The studio has a singular talent for creating compelling universes inhabited by interesting characters. With Dragon Age representing high fantasy, Mass Effect covering sci-fi, and The Old Republic somewhere in the middle, I'm curious to see where BioWare goes next.
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