BioWare: Why We Are Making ‘Mass Effect’ As A Trilogy

Yesterday I showed you how Denis Dyack justified “Too Human” being a trilogy.

Today, witness how BioWare’s founders answered when I asked why “Mass Effect” needed to be three parts.

This interview was conducted in February at the Game Developers Conference where the BioWare was promoting the PC version of “Mass Effect”…

Multiplayer: “Mass Effect” was announced as a trilogy. Creatively, how do you go about determining that you’re making a trilogy? On the completely cynical side, it could be that there was some marketing guy who decided, “We’re going to make one game. It’s going to be a hit. We’re going to have two sequels.” On the other side of the spectrum the idea would be: “This story cannot be told in one game; it can’t be told in 40 hours. It needs to be told in 120.”

Specific to “Mass Effect,” do you recall the moment when it was determined that it would be a trilogy?

Ray Muzyka, BioWare co-founder: Very much with “Mass Effect” it was the development team that drove the decision to make it a trilogy. I think the very first meeting we had with Casey Hudson, who is the project director on that project — Greg and me and Casey went out for lunch and said, “What do we do [next]? “Knights of the Old Republic” was a great success. What’s going to be the next challenge to the team?”

At the lunch we decided that we want something that really feels epic. It’s like you’re the tip of the spear of humanity on a galactic stage. Something that’s big and ambitious. What about a trilogy?

Great science fiction arcs often occur in trilogies. It seems like it’s sort of the way of it. Maybe it’s a convenient number. But it allows you to have different pacing in parts of the story. So we’re excited about the next installments. We haven’t announced them formally, but we’ve talked about how we have grand ambitions and we want to ontine to build.

We also are really excited just as game players ourselves to be able to build on a foundation. As Greg [Zeschuk, BioWare co-founder] said, we’re always building on this foundation of the past work. And all across the board that’s exploration, progression, customization, narrative, story, digital actors, and social aspects for multiplayer games — just building on that. And being able to take that from one product to the next within a franchise is another way to express the things that the fans loved and make them better and better each time out the gate.


Have a hot tip? Need to tell me something? Drop me an e-mail.