Thursday, October 18, 2012

Don't be that Guy: Ray Muzyka Retreats

So I shared a freezer-burned post with you just a few days ago that acerbically responded to a blog post of BioWare's General Manager, Ray Muzyka. Well, now, it turns out that Ray is leaving the Mass Effect franchise, his company, and the entire frakkin' gaming industry behind. He's going into charity social entrepreneurship, whatever that means. Well, I'll tell you what that means, he's beating a hasty retreat in response to the tide of nerd-hate falling down around his ears. There's no other explanation for it. If you had just taken your own company's flagship product and dropped a lazy dump on its very existence and internal consistency, and then lied through your teeth to fans about being directly responsible and cognizant about its unpopularity, wouldn't you run with your tail between your legs?

Now, this will always be speculation, because as long as Mass Effect is a vibrant franchise, it's exceptionally unlikely anyone will confirm a correlation between Mass Effect 3's lousy resolution and Muzyka leaving, probably saying that Ray had been planning this for sometime, that he's wanting to branch out, help the poor social networking sites...blah blah blah. Mass Effect 3 was a huge financial success, he'd had the most direct creative influence over it, and it was clearly supposed to pave the way for even more in-universe games to branch out--probably to other genres and platforms. Who walks away in the middle of all that, except for someone who's either ashamed or being asked by EA to resign in order to ameliorate relations with Mass Effect fans.

I wish I could take some responsibility for this turn of events. If I'd been a good blogger and posted my previous article 5 months ago as intended, perhaps I could happily delude myself with the assurance that I had helped punish the man who dealt Commander Shepard the unkindest cut of all--a stupid ending. Instead, I'm happy with the fact that I'm convinced that the disgruntled collective of Mass Effect fans have responded with enough clamor that someone--either Ray himself or someone at EA--decided that he was no longer good for the franchise. In either case, I feel like this change can only be good for Dragon Age 3, which is in development and hopefully will be purged of any of Ray Muzyka's nutty ideas.

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