A KotOR-fanboy-ish analysis of the LucasArts-Bioware press release

Cropped version of Knights of the Old Republic cover

Two days ago, LucasArts and Bioware released a press release announcing their newly-forged alliance and made a fancy domain address at www.lucasartsbioware.com as well. This has put all the internets on red alert, especially considering the recent rumour that Bioware’s top-secret MMORPG is based on Knights of the Old Republic. I, being the KotOR fanboy that I am, could not resist it.

Below, we have dissected the press release to try and guess its meaning, and build up some more hype for this unannounced game in hopes of being hired by the LucasArts marketing team. For the full press release in its unadulterated form, use the LA-Bioware link above. Hit the jump to read the analysis in all its glory.

LucasArts and BioWare Corp. today announced that they have entered into an agreement to create an interactive entertainment product

Translation: LA and Bioware are making a video game.

The product, details of which will be unveiled at a later date,…

Ah, you cheeky little monkey, you.

…will be developed and published by BioWare and LucasArts, and will push the boundaries of the gaming market by utilizing the strengths of both companies to deliver an innovative, high-quality experience.

I love it when companies claim to push the boundaries of the gaming market (I’d like to see where they are in the first place). Innovative and High-quality – terms to be noted. Also, considering the statement that they’ll use the strengths of both companies – LA’s only strength, as far as I can see is Star Wars. They used to be a juggernaut when it came to kickass adventure games, but blam, they’re gone. BioWare’s strength is, obviously, to create equally kickass RPG games. You can see what I’m hinting at here.

“LucasArts has a deep commitment to developing compelling stories and characters for the unique medium of interactive entertainment,…

Well I’ll give them that. LucasArts’ adventure games, as well as the two KotOR games have had spectacular stories, but why the hell can’t they refer to video games as plain video games and not some “medium of interactive entertainment”?

…and we have been searching for a developer that shares this value. We found this in BioWare,” said Jim Ward, president of LucasArts.

Hmm, this is an interesting one. Ward appears to imply that LA has had a concept of a rich story-based, character-involving game and has decided BioWare do it. This is opposed to the idea that LA wants a KotOR 3 and already had BioWare in mind. Then again, these corporate types always twist stuff here and there.

This points more towards the theory that LA is planning a brand new RPG or, more likely, a MMORPG that can kick Galaxies’ ass. Mysterious indeed.

 “Through our previous collaborations, we know that BioWare has an impressive ability to blend gripping stories with technological advancements,…

Ah, previous collaborations. LA is talking about Knights of the Old Republic here, and singing high praise of the same. This statement, like the last, implies that LucasArts is doing something different, since saying this statement for a direct sequel to KotOR would be awkward.

…and we believe that our upcoming product will deliver an experience that will span the traditional boundaries of video game entertainment.“

Sounds like more hype-building hogwash to me. Again, I’d like to see where these interesting “traditional boundaries” actually lie. Still, it appears LA has something good in store if they’re being so bold. The statement appears to be somewhat neutral in the singleplayer/mmorpg debate.

“BioWare’s mission is to deliver the best story and character-driven games in the world, delivering powerful emotional experiences to our fans.” said Ray Muzyka, chief executive officer, BioWare Corp.

This statement leans a little more towards the singleplayer side of the affair, since here Muzyka implies that BioWare isn’t going to try something different this time, but will stick to their rich-story, character-driven, emotion-filled roots. Also, MMORPGs aren’t quite known for spectacular stories and characters, and well, emotional experiences.

Added Greg Zeschuk, president of BioWare Corp., “The collaboration with LucasArts allows us to combine our passion for creating high quality and innovative experiences with those of a company dedicated to bringing only the finest games to market.

A comment just for formalities sake, it appears to be. Just some shaking hands and exchanging money.

So, here’s our conclusion. While the release is more of a teaser and a rather ambiguous one at that, it seems to make subtle hints towards the MMORPG that was rumoured about. But it should be noted that BioWare announced their massively multiplayer plans in March 2006. Why would they announce their alliance with LA now, if this MMORPG was KotOR? And even if they did, why would they post a teaser press release? This gives plenty of opportunity for the singleplayer theory to come into the picture.

Then again, maybe LA is making an Indiana Jones RPG, or maybe Monkey Island Online? The possibilities are endless, and so we must wait for this “later date”.

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