Last month, BioWare and Mythic announced a merger of sorts, stemming from a restructuring in EA's RPG and MMO games development department. The new team now follows the lead of Ray Muzyka, co-founder and General Manager of BioWare, serving as the RPG/MMO studio's Group General Manager. Greg Zeschuck, BioWare's other co-founder, is now the Group Creative Officer, and Rob Denton has become General Manager of Mythic and thus reports to Muzyka. Mythic's co-founder and then-current General Manager, Mark Jacobs, chose to leave the company.
According to Zeschuk, the merger didn't effect the day-to-day operations. In fact, both parties were working side by side within EA and sharing technology ideas before the restructuring took place. "I think it will work very much like the Austin studio," he told Eurogamer in an interview. "Austin is one of the BioWare studios, but they're very independent. They manage the internal processes, they run it like a BioWare studio, but in the Austin vision. They've got stuff they're working on, Mythic's got stuff they're working on, and it's going to be a great team there. We've known the people there for quite a while, so in general, they've got their agenda, we've got our goals, they've got their goals, and what Ray and I do at an overall group level is try and make sure that everything's aligned and all the sharing's happening and everyone's supported and getting the resources they need."
However, when asked if he would use Mythic's experience with MMOGs (Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online) on Star Wars: The Old Republic, he said "oh yeah, without a doubt." Star Wars: The Old Republic is BioWare's initial trek into the realm of MMOGs; using Mythic's experience would undoubtedly be a big plus in the development process and the overall longevity of the game. However, as Eurogamer pointed out, Warhammer Online is experiencing subscriber problems. Would Zeschuk be willing to lend BioWare's storytelling skills, or give the fledging MMOG a popularity boost by association?
"I don't know," he said. "I think we always have lots of opinions to share, Ray and I. We've both played Warhammer, and actually I've still been playing it on and off for a while, so I think for us it's not to much a popularity boost as just the fact that we can probably bring perspectives to the table that will be new and perhaps helpful to the guys from Mythic in the same way from an online perspective they can certainly share with us. To give credit to the Austin team, we have a number of serious MMO veterans on there, so it's certainly not neophytes, but there's absolutely opportunities to share and learn things back and forth."
Zeschuk said that the new merger hasn't combined the two development teams entirely: BioWare and Mythic still exist as separate entities. Currently in development at BioWare Austin, Star Wars: The Old Republic was officially announced in October 2008, however no confirmed release date has been set as of yet.