BioWare Confirms PC Support, ‘Looking At’ iPhone Development

It’s been more than six months since “Mass Effect” was released on Xbox 360 and BioWare was picked up by Electronic Arts. We haven’t heard much from the studio since, outside of talking up the recently released PC version of “Mass Effect.”

Their PC epic “Dragon Age” looms on the horizon and rumors continue to swirl about their long-anticipated entry into the world of MMOs. But announcements on those and the inevitable sequel to “Mass Effect” aren’t yet here.

But we managed to corner BioWare co-CEOs Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk this morning for a conversation on a number of topics. First up? Where the future of BioWare’s gaming development lies. PC gaming isn’t dead for these guys. What about the iPhone? More DS? Read on to for their thoughts…

Zeschuk on whether BioWare is interested in working on the iPhone…

“We look at every platform that comes along. Obviously, something that’s as big a cultural and technical success as the iPhone is something you really got to take a close look at. Certainly, there’s nothing written in stone yet but we’ve got a lot of folks looking at it. It’s intriguing. I think one of the things that we’ll have to see how it shakes out is what type of consumer buys games on it and what type of experience they’re looking for. You want to always mash the consumer experience with what you’re building. We want to understand what people are going to do with it. Who knows. We’re definitely looking at every platform.”

Muzyka dishes on whether BioWare will continue to make PC-exclusive games…

“Yeah. I think that’s quite feasible. The PC market is vibrant and you look at the success of games like ’World of Warcraft’ or ’Age of Conan.’ Those are very successful games. It remains to be seen how ’Conan’ will continue to be successful but it’s off to a great start and we’re very supportive of seeing great PC titles in the market because we just think it’s another sign that the market’s very strong.”

Zeschuck explains how much they enjoyed making “Sonic Chronicles” on DS…

“It’s actually been great fun. That was almost one of the sort of hidden reasons to do a handheld game. One thing was to try something different and explore a different platform, and as you know, kind of sort of work in a lighter flavor of environment in terms of the game we’re working on. We’re nearing the end and it’s turning out really great.

In terms of handhelds, it’s been great because it’s also so fast. The cycle to make changes and improvements is very short compared to the hundreds of thousands of text in a full next-gen console or PC product. The iteration cycle is really short, and that makes it ideal for a short-attention span where you want to do something different every day. [laughs] It’s pretty exciting, actually. It’s been a really unique experience and one we’re definitely interested in pursuing.”

Muzyka breaks down how BioWare determines if a game is multi-platform or not:

“Some games are suited well to that, some are less well suited to that. Our philosophy is that we’ll look at every game and every [intellectual property] on an individual basis and decide if it’s going to be single-platform or multi-platform or maybe make a choice later on to make it multi-platform in some cases — like we did for ’Mass Effect.’ Every one is very individualized and very strategically thought through. We’re pretty considerate of market and the target consumer.”

We’ll have more with the heads of BioWare tomorrow. Check back for their thoughts on the state of the MMO space, why a console MMO hasn’t worked on consoles just yet (and if that can change) and what’s in store for their own MMO.