Zeschuk: EA 'gives you enough rope to hang yourself,' in a good way

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BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk is done with the gaming industry, at least from a development standpoint and at least for now, he told Games Industry after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award with fellow doctor Ray Muzyka at GDC.

"I really don't see myself making a brand-new game developer," Zeschuk said. "I also don't really see myself working for anyone else, at least in the traditional sense. But I can imagine myself, for example, being on a board, consulting ... In building a business and making a game company, it is a kind of been there, done that feeling. When you've checked off all the boxes, why do it again? I don't really imagine a full-time gig in the business appealing to me – I just don't see it."

Zeschuk said he's proud of the creative legacy he cultivated at BioWare, and cites one specific regret of his time there: not making Jade Empire an Xbox 360 launch title. That "would have been massive," Zeschuk said.

EA acquired BioWare in 2007 prior to the launch of Mass Effect, and Zeschuk said he's still happy with that move. The BioWare team never had to conform to EA's standards of microtransactions or forced multiplayer, though it did have to keep the bottom line in mind, he said.

"The best analogy I use, in a positive way, is EA gives you enough rope to hang yourself. It was really interesting because we really made all the choices we wanted to make ourselves; these are all things we wanted to try ... That was the biggest revelation, that rope that EA gives you; they don't second-guess you, they don't say you shouldn't do that. We had complete creative control over a lot of it; some fans didn't like some of it and some of it was experimental, quite frankly."
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