Interviews

GC: BioWare's Ray Muzyka Pt. 2

Interview: Natal and the dark side of next-gen consoles

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So it's better for developers if the platform holders stick with the current consoles for as long as possible?

Muzyka: I don't mind the idea of new consoles, but I also think there are pros and cons to it. Because I ultimately think that it makes the content that we need to upgrade harder and more inefficient. You have to learn all the new tricks again.

One of the reasons why our industry is so exciting is because it represents this rapidly, dynamically changing platform of entertainment that's continually evolving and changing.

Maybe the consumers demand that, and maybe they influence that too. There's always a call for more innovation in content delivery and innovation in technology too, but I think it's somewhat up to us. The more you push the hardware, the harder it is to push in the content delivery area.

Maybe Natal represents a middle ground in which you're innovating the technology and yet you've got a stable platform. You're adding things on which allows you to do new things on it.

How does a company like BioWare prepare for such an unpredictable future?

Muzyka: I think it's less and less about technological innovation and more about what you do with that technology. How emotionally engaging you can make it, how fun you can make the gameplay. Look at LittleBigPlanet and Portal - games that sidestep the main thrust of technology, they're incredibly fun and successful.

When you have a stable technology base, I think you'll start seeing more like that, games that do something different and more innovative.

How do you think the rise of the iPhone as a games platforms will affect the industry?

Muzyka: I'm a big consumer of iPhone apps and I really enjoy it. I don't think they're going to replace the traditional console games. I think they're alternatives. The user experience with iTunes is really good, and I think that would be something that's worth emulating.

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