Tag Archives: Mythic

The demon driving Dungeon Keeper backlash

EA is in a unique position as games publisher with a deep history. Between internally created games and a long history of acquisitions including Origin, Bullfrog, Maxis, Westwood, DICE, BioWare/Pandemic, Mythic and Criterion (just to name a few), the company holds the reins on any number of classic game brands.  Like few competitors, any time EA wishes to develop a new game for a given genre or platform, there exists at minimum one IP that can be leveraged as opposed to developing a new brand. Browser-based strategy MMO? Games have been made using both Ultima and Command & Conquer settings. Casual city building game? Sim City is a natural choice, but so are Populous, Theme Park and Theme Hospital. Mobile based infinite runner? Mirror’s Edge, SSX and even Burnout would get the job done. Any time a new category breaks and EA feels the desire to be competitive, there is a reasonable case to be made for taking an existing brand and using it to build hype and awareness in the ever heightening competition for player’s attention and dollars.

EA is the company the internet loves to hate. It is the two time winner of Consumerist’s Worst Company In America. It has made its share of public mistakes as well as releasing its share of incredible games. Over the years, the company has used its stable of intellectual properties in a variety of ways. Although there is always some backlash, the recent release of Dungeon Keeper on iOS and Android has been met with an unprecedented wave of hatred.

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“What is Game Design?” with Paul Barnett

The following are excerpts from a conversation with Paul Barnett, Senior Creative Director at BioWare/Mythic.  Paul currently oversees a number of projects in the BioWare family, including Warhammer: Wrath of Heroes and BioWare Social. 


EL: To start with, what is game design?

PB: Oh, dear, crikey. If I knew that, then I’d be rich. I’m with Stephen King. It’s probably telepathy. I thought that was the greatest answer to what is story writing is telepathy. Game design is probably telepathy.

People have ideas in the modern era they’re basically two groups. Lots of people trying desperately to get a straightforward idea made over a long period of time, for something like Star Wars TOR. Simple idea. Massively multiplayer Star Wars meets Knights of the Old Republic. But it requires hundreds of people, years, millions of dollars and it’s supremely difficult.
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