BioWare & Friends
February 14, 2011 3 Comments
If you’re a reader of BioBreak, you’ve probably seen Syp’s latest update about some happenings between BioWare and its fansites. Obviously, as a blogger myself, and as a participating member of the new blog/media conundrum, I find it to be of interest how BioWare is handling this. From the revision that Syp provided after speaking with BioWare, it seems that the limitation won’t be so much in the form of interaction, but in official sponsoring. If you’re familiar with Warhammer, you’ll remember that every so often, Andy would do a blogger role-call, linking out people who wrote blogs primarily about WAR. It was a great honor to be chosen to be on those lists, and a great way for the game to show love to it’s blogging community (something Mythic always excelled at). Those type of actions, or even participation in similar promotional events, will likely NOT be happening. No holocrons with symbols as part of a decipher puzzle will be included if you have adds on your blog.
I don’t have a personal problem with this, on the surface at least. For me, blogging isn’t about recognition from others, even when it’s the industry that does the recognizing (which is awesome). It’s about cataloguing my thoughts, outlooks, and activities. For me, this blog is part journal, part discussion room. So, even if I was one of the SW:TOR bloggers, I don’t know how put off I would be by this.
Digging below the surface, and taking off the gloves a bit, I really have to admit that when reading Syp’s article – the VERY first thing that popped into my head was “Lucas Arts IP strangle-hold reaches beyond EA”. Anyone who followed WAR from early conception, to live, and beyond can probably glean that Games Workshop provided some difficulties to development. As great as they are as a company to work with, they do have stringent IP concerns and are as unabashedly picky about protecting those ideas as Lucas is about his. Lucas may be worse. Honestly, it’s a tie – they’re both obsessed with it. That’s okay, it’s their work, their creation, their worlds, they can do what they want.
Situations like this make me more and more convinced, than I ever was before, that existing IPs just may not be the way to go with any new games. The return seems to be a headache and a hassle for a moderate boost in sales and customer base. I’m beginning to form an opinion that obstacles that block the creative process of game creation/design just aren’t worth the hassle, and that it’s better to create a world that fits your game, or a game that fits your world – depending on your plan.