It’s amazing what can happen in a day…
#1 – Bioware + Mythic = Myoware or Bithic?
First, the Warhammer Herald is reporting that Electronic Arts, owners of both Mythic & Bioware, have grabbed both entities and squished them together like one big ball of role-playing play-doh.
Bioware essentially carries on unchanged, with Ray Muzyka continuing to head his company (and the division as a whole) whilst his co-founder Greg Zeschuk will become ‘Group Creative Officer’. Mythic seems to be coming off worse, with Rob Denton taking up whatever reigns actually exist following the departure of CEO Mark Jacobs (who seems to be leaving EA all together).
This apparantly won’t affect existing projects (i.e. Dragon Age, Mass Effect & ongoing support of Warhammer), but it definitely shows that EA are lining up a truely inhuman charge at Blizzard by combining the talent behind both Warhammer Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic, alongside numerous other properties.
#2 – Apparantly, it’s a mutual agreement!
Secondly (and possibly more surprising until you read the reasoning), is the purchase and/or merger of id Software (Dangerous Dave, Rescue Rover & Hovertank 3D, possibly a few FPS games) by ZeniMax Media, owners of Bethesda Softworks (Wayne Gretzky Hockey, Terminator: Future Shock, an RPG or two).
Whilst historically a fairly significant developer, id Software has spent the last few years under the boot of several publishers as their engines failed to really make it big in the licensing arena due to high requirements or competition and their actual developed games falling out of favour with the general public due to either content or, once again, competition.
In this Kotaku article, John Carmack outlines the companies reason for sale, including a more secure financial base, the fact that they get to work with a company not directly competing and increasing frustration with the first-party publishers who saw them as just another financial money-pot, up against rival in-house studios that often recieved more support.
Again, existing development & publishing deals aren’t affected (Wolfenstein stays w. Actizzard & Rage will be published under EA Partners) but Doom 4, as a 100% id property, will now be published by ZeniMax.