BioWare Mondays

While rumours of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s demise are grossly exaggerated, rumours of its shrinking subscriber base are most certainly not. Though the game still boasts north of a million subscribers (which is really a quite respectable number in the modern MMORPG market, World of Warcraft being a statistical oddity), Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s analysis of EA’s lastest financial report suggests that as many as 400,000 players have not re-subscribed to the game. That’s about a 25% drop, overall.

And yes, I am in that number.

That said, the game continues to roll along, and BioWare Austin is still very much hard at work on it. One doubts that SWTOR will be going away any time soon.

What may have gone away, at least for a while longer (though not permanently, we can assume), is Dragon Age 3. As part of the same financial results that RPS found to be so revelatory, EA revealed that they had delayed a “key game” from FY13 to FY14. It has been speculated that Dragon Age 3 is that delayed game, and that the reason for the delay has to do with its team being used to bolster work on The Old Republic.

That’s not to say that all is quiet on the Dragon Age front, however; Dawn of the Seeker — the upcoming animated feature film from FUNimation and BioWare — is slated for release on May 29th. As well, the BioWare Blog is featuring a pair of posts concerning Dragon Age: this interview with level designer Kaelin Lavallee (who has worked on every entry in the series thus far), and this post from series executive producer Mark Darrah, in which the question is posed: “What kinds of things would you like to discover and learn about the Dragon Age world?”

And it would seem that I was a bit too hasty in suggesting, last week, that controversy over the ending of Mass Effect 3 had died down; it turns out that protests are still going strong, lately in the form of a letter-writing campaign. The controversy hasn’t hurt the game’s sales at all, however; it has raked in over $200 million in sales so far, which Destructoid figures means at least three million copies sold.

The game’s multiplayer component continues in its popularity as well; nearly 23 million matches have been played so far. The last of the lingering issues with multiplayer on the PlayStation 3 appear to have been resolved, as well.

Oh, and in case you’re at all curious about how the (excellent, it must be said!) composers who worked on the Mass Effect soundtrack are doing, it sounds like they’re all doing just fine indeed. Jack Wall (whose music defined the first two games’ soundtracks) will be scoring the next Call of Duty: Black Ops title, while the excellent Sam Hulick (who more or less carried the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack, Clint Mansell nonwithstanding) has signed on to do music for Beamdog’s Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.

Also: Don’t miss this review of the game/wrap-up of the series at Forbes. Columnist Alex Knapp, who had not played Mass Effect at all until a couple months ago, has finally finished his odyssey through the series, and has some interesting thoughts to share. This drinking guide is pretty funny, too.

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