Publishing giant 'gives you enough rope to hang yourself with'

Zeschuk: EA allows developers creative freedom

EA allows developers the creative freedom to make the games and design decisions they want, says BioWare founder Greg Zeschuk.

Speaking to Games Industry, the industry veteran said he rejected any notion that the publishing giant forced its developers to implement features such as microtransactions, multiplayer or forced mobile spin-offs, and gives developers "enough rope to hang yourself with".

He explained that, at least for BoWare, the studio was able to make all of the choices about the direction of titles such as Mass Effect by itself, and that working with EA actually gave them the resources to do more with development, compared to when it was independent.

Zeschuck said one caveat however is that, despite being allowed creative freedom, the developer had to make sure its games would be profitable.

“That was the biggest revelation, that rope that EA gives you; they don’t second-guess you, they don’t say you shouldn’t do that,” he said.

“We had complete creative control over a lot of it; some fans didn’t like some of it and some of it was experimental, quite frankly. The one caveat is at the end of the day for any company you have to run a profit, so you have to be thinking of things that actually make you profitable. So while you’re taking all these creative risks in trying crazy stuff you almost have to simultaneously focus on the bottom line. The top line is not enough. 

“In some ways, being independent I would say we had to be more conservative – being part of a big company, you could be more aggressive and try stuff. I think that’s something people [struggle with] when they join EA."

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