255w ago - A Microsoft published title selling 1.6 million units in its first few weeks is a big deal. And when the title was Mass Effect, Bioware's massively anticipated space epic, the hype was only amplified.
It helped that the game warranted universal critical acclaim and along with Bioshock, Forza 2 and Halo 3 elevated the Xbox 360 to fame in 2007. Now, as Mass Effect 2 readies for a level walk-through at GDC '09, the rumors going around involves the series supposed multi-platform reach.
Granted, almost every company has or is rumoured to be ending age-old allegiances in this cost-hungry era of development. And hey, which gamer doesn't crave for more high-quality titles? The Mass Effect issue, however, involves more than a simple return on investments.
Bioware wants to demonstrate the lesser amount of time and high playability that Mass Effect 2 benefits from at the GDC. In other words, they want to demonstrate how they optimized development for their current tech, being in this case the 360 and PC platforms. Tweaking the engine to support the PS3's tech, while doable, requires more time and money.
Judging by the speed at which the first ME2 footage was announced, roughly...
255w ago - SecondStoryGamer (linked above) is reporting a 'fairly reliable source' close to EA has told them that the sequel of Mass Effect and future versions in the series will be available on Sony's PS3 as well as the XBox 360 and PC.
Apparently, EA decided to go multi-platform because of the state of the economy, and they want to squeeze as much money as possible out of their games.
To quote: A fairly reliable source close to Electronic Arts tells us that the sequel (and subsequent iterations) will be available the PlayStation 3 as well as the Xbox 360 and PC. According to our source, EA decided to make the series multiplatform mostly due to the "the economic outlook".
Our source claims that because of the current state of the economy, Electronic Arts is looking to squeeze as much money from its portfolio of games as it possibly can. Obviously, making Mass Effect 2 and 3 multiplatform would increase their sales, as the game would be available to more people.
288w ago - Some of the more 'hardcore' gamers out there were a little concerned when EA acquired BioWare, fearing that their beloved game maker might start churning out yearly sports franchises.
However, the studio appear to be thriving under a rejuvenated EA, and with the PC version of Mass Effect now hitting shelves, times are good for the Canadian developer. We sat down with PR big wig Matt Atwood to learn more.
Mass Effect looks like it has been polished-up nicely for the PC. How important is this release for BioWare, and what feedback have you taken on-board from the Xbox 360 release?
Whenever we create a game we always look at fan feedback, since delivering a game that our fans want to play is our top priority.
For Mass Effect on the PC, some of the changes we made based on feedback was making the inventory system and Mako controls more intuitive, and we've added things like the new Tactical HUD which wasn't based on feedback, but really lends itself to the platform.
How challenging was converting the controls from the 360 to the PC?
Our focus in converting Mass Effect to the PC is to make it very natural for the platform. Any time you focus on making the experience very natural to a different platform, it takes both creativity and hard work. One thing...
291w ago - Bioware's highly acclaimed and formerly XBox 360 exclusive RPG Mass Effect is fast approaching its release on the PC. Most PC gamers were undoubtedly pleased to hear about enhanced graphics, faster load times, and a re-designed menu system; but it's likely that fewer were happy to hear about the evil digital rights management that will be unscrupulously bundled with the game.
Like an increasing number of PC games nowadays, Mass Effect will require an online activation when it is installed. This has been common practice ever since Half-Life 2. But Mass Effect will also "phone home" every 10 days to make sure the key is valid, and it will carry a three-install limit. This has set many message boards afire with rants about "draconian" DRM and people threatening to pirate the game precisely because of the DRM.
It's times like this that I wonder why people are so adamantly opposed to DRM. It's worth noting that piracy came first; if people didn't steal their games, there would be no need for DRM. But the argument is something like this: the game will be pirated anyway, and DRM just inconveniences those who legitimately purchased their game.
But let's shift gears for a moment. The music industry has been similarly ravaged by piracy. It's easy enough to avoid any DRM simply by purchasing a CD. But...