As I covered on my Examiner blog last week, BioWare Austin was hit with layoffs last week. Which, actually, is not an unexpected thing; Star Wars: The Old Republic took quite a lot of manpower and time to develop, but now that it’s up and running there just isn’t the same need to keep as large a development team on staff. And let’s face it: times are tough, even for MMORPGs.
Updates to the game continue apace, however; the version 1.3 update was announced recently, and will bring many new features to The Old Republic. The Legacy system will see a major update, a group finder feature will make its debut, and some of the in-game gear will become adaptive and better able to scale to different character phenotypes. Some discussion has also taken place as to what will follow these additions in later updates; look for new space missions in relatively short order.
And hey…the cover for the newest The Old Republic novel has been revealed. Yes, Drew Karpyshyn is the author.
On the Mass Effect front, Mass Effect: Infiltrator launched for Android last week. Better late than never, I suppose; now those of you who have high-powered Android smartphones and a pathological hatred of multiplayer gaming can boost your galactic readiness score. Slowly.
Additionally, there’s a new multiplayer DLC for Mass Effect 3 slated for release tomorrow. Evidently, it will feature the debut of the Vorcha in multiplayer…as allies. Mass Effect 3 patch 1.0.3 will also be released this week, fixing various issues with the game.
And wouldn’t you know it? The Mass Effect 3 ending controversy continues:
Part 1 – Was just sent material from HTL on how they “won’t accept” the Extended Cut and will desert us if do EC instead of new endings.
— Chris Priestly (@BioEvilChris) May 22, 2012
Sci-fi writers Joe Abercrombie and Jonathan Green have also weighed in on the ending. Their assessment, while not wholly positive, is not entirely negative either.
That said, all this fuss over the game’s ending is becoming just a trifle tiring.
Mass Effect fans continue to amuse and amaze, however. Whether it’s this amusing look at how the Reapers might have modified some of the other races, or this fan-designed alternative face for Tali, or these amusing file recovery priorities, it must be said that BioWare’s sci-fi epic RPG has (for all its faults) attracted one heck of a fanbase.
Finally, over at Eurogamer, there’s a retrospective of Dragon Age 2 that’s worth a read that offers a very positive appraisal of the game.