BioWare founder: studio 'had to be strong to survive EA bear hug'

"Well meaning but vigorous" embrace was challenging but also helped company evolve

BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk has touched upon the studio's relationship with EA and its development under the company's close watch.

The studio was acquired by EA in 2007 along with Mercenaries developer Pandemic in a deal worth up to $860 million, and it has gone on to become a key player for the publisher, developing the second and third Mass Effect games for its parent company, as well as the Dragon Age series and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

But the past five years weren't necessarily all plain sailing, according to Zeschuk, who left the studio last year with fellow co-founder Ray Muzyka, with both keen to pursue the next chapter in their careers.


"I think one of the reasons that we survived and succeeded within EA was that our company was mature enough and there was enough good people throughout to handle the EA bear hug - something that is well meaning but vigorous," Zeschuk told Polygon. "We needed to be strong to survive that and I think we did and you evolve from that as well."

While BioWare remains central to EA's plans, things didn't go well for Pandemic, which was closed in late 2009, just two years after its acquisition and at around the same time BioWare was launching the Dragon Age series.