This was originally a project on the Xbox with Microsoft, but it's now with EA on PC. That isn't a prelude to saying, "Come to PS3," because that's your business, and I know you know what you're doing, but have you guys worked with the PS3 at all? Or have you studied it as a development platform and whether it's worth moving into, whether it's for this project or another?
RM: We haven't announced any future plans on Mass Effect, as to what the future holds. We're just focused on PC, in terms of what we're talking about. But we're working actively with the PS3 now, yeah, and the 360 as well. And we're exploring Wii, and the DS we're rapidly working on as well.
That's right. You're working on Sonic for DS.
RM: We are actually working on PS3 stuff. I think we said that before a bunch of times. That's something we're rapidly exploring. We haven't said what we're working on, but we're excited about the platform. I think it's a great platform. The 360 is a great platform, and I think the PC is a great platform. So are the Wii and the DS.
I don't just say that because I have to say it. I believe it. I've played games on all the systems. If the fans are there and you can make great games, maybe a little different for each one, maybe... there are opportunities on all of them to make different things that stand out for what BioWare is known for, with narrative and emotion, and apply it in a different way in terms of the platform. That's what we're trying to do with the PC. You can do something pretty amazing.
When it comes to Austin, I believe there are basically no details -- except for the fact that you have a studio in Austin.
RM: Yeah. I agree. People are working away on something there that we're really proud of. It's a good game. It's going to feel like a BioWare game. It's going to have the best of breed of MMO features, and some new innovations that when we reveal them, hopefully they'll be impactful for people.
I hope so. I think it's a genre that's ripe for innovation. I think that WoW was the last landmark title, and of course it still drives success, but it's probably time for someone to step up and do something.
RM: I agree. And it's not a slight at all on Blizzard. I think they've done a great job. But the fact that people want to play that kind of game is an opportunity to really deliver that level of polish and quality, and innovate in a few key areas, while they continue to innovate in a few key areas, too.
I got to sit next to Rob Pardo for like three hours yesterday at this dinner I was at with a bunch of other studio leaders, and I just talked in admiring terms of how much I love their games, and how I've played every single one of them and finished every one of them.
And he's played all of our games, and we were debating the merits of different design philosophies, and he's telling me how they built GUIs, and I was telling him how we built GUIs and hired people and approached design concepts. It's just awesome, right? We're very different from them, and yet it's a very similar starting point and end point, in terms of the quality we give our fans.