One of BioWare's co-founders believes that the vocal fan backlash to projects such as Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic contributed to the departure of the studio's bosses.
Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka quit the company last month, both claiming that they had effectively lost their enthusiasm for games development.
However, fellow co-founder Trent Oster believes that the strength of the negative reaction to Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic played a big part in their decision to walk.
The last time I met up with [Greg], I felt his exhaustion,” Oster told NowGamer. "'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 just too much.
You have to love games and you put your heart into them to create them. To have the fans creating petitions against the work is pretty hard to take, especially when you've spent the last few years crunching overtime to try and ship a game.
It can be hard to shut off the overwhelming negativity the internet spews forth, especially when it has your name or the name of your company in it.”
Greg and Ray were two of the nicest, cleverest, most driven developers in the industry and it's incontestable to claim that their departure from BioWare is anything but a significant loss to the company.
But what is the likelihood of fans taking a moment to question the impact of their own actions? Will the huge furore that greeted the ending of Mass Effect 3 – the avalanche of self-entitlement – be put into any sort of perspective? Will gamers take note of the real-world human cost that can result from their actions?
We're not holding our breath…
UPDATE: Ray Muzyka has taken to Twitter to counter Oster's claims.
"I respect/revere fans, because they speak with deep, honest passion. Journalists speculating on ill-founded rumors should reassess approach. Good websites demand clarity and credibility – lesser ones enable ill-informed individuals to make stuff up about other people."
So it's safe to say he disagress with Oster's assessment, then.