BioWare Veteran Leading New Game Studio

Ex-BioWare GM Aaryn Flynn is in charge of one of Improbable's new development teams.

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Games tech company Improbable has announced it is venturing into games development with two newly created studios in London and Edmonton, the latter of which is being headed up by former BioWare veteran Aaryn Flynn. In a press release, the company says the studios are working on "online multiplayer games" powered by its SpatialOS platform.

Flynn worked at BioWare for 11 years and served as the company's general manager from 2015-2017. During his tenure there, he oversaw the development of the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises, as well as Star Wars: The Old Republic. He joined Improbable as the general manager of its North American games business in September 2018.

"I was interested in making a game using SpatialOS from the very first time I spoke to Improbable," Flynn said. "Building tools and content has been a great way for our Edmonton team to master SpatialOS, but a full game was always an opportunity myself and others had in mind as the Edmonton studio took shape. Now, after a lot of great hires and great progress, we're going to focus on creating that game using Unreal Engine 4 and building on SpatialOS' next-generation online games platform."

Improbable's London studio, meanwhile, is being led by John Wasilczyk, who previously worked at EA DICE and Fortnite developer Epic Games. The company says it plans to further grow these studios and found additional ones in other locations.

Improbable will discuss its SpatialOS platform and its move into game development at this year's Game Developers Conference, which takes place from March 18-22. The company will also host two panels at the conference, which will feature Flynn and Josh Holmes, who previously worked on the Def Jam Vendetta and Halo series.

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Avatar image for jaguar10books
jaguar10books

Really getting sick of online, multiplayer games! I don't play them and never will. They are only made in order to cash grab by having loot boxes or other monetary transactions ingame. If this studio really wants to make a great game like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, God of War, etc. make it single player with a good story!!!!!! There is enough of Anthem, Fortnite crap out there already!

Avatar image for mowens1984
mowens1984

@jaguar10books: In the same boat. As soon as I hear something is online only or mostly online focused (games like The Division or Anthem) I immediately lose almost all interest.

There is still a demand for quality, single player experiences as God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn and other games have proven.

Avatar image for N0madS0uL
N0madS0uL

Still watching this review/vid/whatever and just want to comment on the so called "story" of the game. So to Kallie Plagge for her review, I basically agree with the fair 6/10 rating but I think you will confuse new players or potential players with your explanation/review of this games story.

In a nutshell what I believe is that the game had ideas that never got any traction, the side stories alone have almost if not 0 baring on anything of the game, they talking to NPCs which is random and "cute" "entertaining" is also dull many time and pointless, your choices of dialogue are limited to 2 options and neither of them have made any difference to my gameplay or world or anything really save for the odd NPC maybe leaving or something like that and I am now at 92hours gameplay.

There are no missions for these NPCs and even if there were, they would probably be too few and far between I would imagine.

As for the main story...its really simple, really boring and you never (as the reviewer mentioned) really get into the game before its over or that nothing is really memorable or special. No connections are really made with any of the NPCs and they are INCREDIBLY simple NPCs too. The antagonist doesnt seem really ominous or very threatening and you don't get much face time with him anyway, maybe two situations before end game?

For a game that should have a critical and interesting story it doesn't come near anything like Mass Effect or Dragon Age or Neverwinter Nights which had much deeper and compelling stories. Yes those are single player games but honestly...Word of Warcraft is an MMO and has had some epic stories like Wrath of the Lich King and the content was played in groups also.

Beyond the story the game becomes more of the same of killing mobs, doing events which just repeat and are far too few. There are no cities outside Fort Tarsis with NPCs that could give more quests and there are no other distractions in the game like driving around in a strider, races, fishing with explosives, hunting animals for materials. No...its not an MMO AT ALL I know...but imo the game is just BORING.

This game had ideas which I would call some fun filler content that other games would put in for nice to have but really would be pointless and they know it, but what BioWare/EA did was take that kind of content and make into something a bit more (because lets face it, its the only other content there) Imagine npc's have a conversation that is maybe interesting but you have no interaction with them, like conversation in passing you just happen to hear. That is what the NPC's convos you have are like...

IMO Remaster Mass Effect 1,2,3 on Anthem GFX and rework the playstyle a bit and sell that again, ill buy it, was that good.

Avatar image for icelandichossi
IcelandicHossi

All I want is a good western RPG like Kotor AND Dragon Age Origins !!!!

is it so hard to make a good rpg??

Avatar image for tsunami2311
tsunami2311

@icelandichossi: When RPG were still actual RPG, I miss those days

Avatar image for DecapitatedOrc
DecapitatedOrc

"Now, after a lot of great hires and great progress, we're going to focus on creating that game using Unreal Engine 4 and building on SpatialOS' next-generation online games platform."

Read carefully...…"ONLINE GAMES PLATFORM". Their website's definition reads, "SpatialOS: the cloud platform for real-time multiplayer games, built with any game engine".

Thanks, but I think I'll pass.

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raven6666

Rats are jumping from the sinking ship...

Avatar image for starjay009
starjay009

Ohhhh how much I long for a Bioware single player RPG set in the Mass Effect or Dragon Age universes. ANY verse for that matter. Sick and tired of multiplayer / Battle Royale games running amok. Hopefully, he can put together something with the new studio.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

This is really nothing to get excited about. When was the last time a major veteran started a new studio and then went on to put out something truly memorable?

Serious question. I honestly can't think of any examples. We hear of these people because of that one great franchise we all love, and then they go on to do something else and...then what? The only thing I can think of that comes even remotely close is the Torchlight/Path of Exile teams and Destiny, but Torchlight/Exile hardly set the world on fire, and Destiny is so memorable because of how disastrous it was (but counts because the gameplay maintained the standard set by Halo).

Avatar image for mdinger
mdinger

@Barighm: Chris Roberts with Star Citizen? [ducks]. Maybe Bryan Fargo with inXile, who put out Wasteland 2, which was pretty good and memorable (at least I remember it).

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Rekonym

@Barighm: I agree with you in general terms. However, I think that a semi-successful story in this category (one of the only ones though, which is why I do agree with you generally-speaking) is Petroglyph Games; from ex-Westwood Studios guys. I still own my retail copy of Empire at War, it was pretty solid and - in my opinion - underrated. Then they made Universe at War, which was also pretty good (with great music from Frank Klepacki, composer of the C&C soundtracks) and again I think was underrated (it wasn't mind blowing, but it was quickly forgotten, I considered it a sleeper hit for me).

They made more after that but I haven't played any of them. I did see some of their Grey Goo game though, it seemed to be pretty solid as well considering the size of their studio and their budget constraints. But yet again, it was sort of forgotten a bit too quickly (it's just not easy to make a living off of RTS games, it's still sort of a niche audience even today).

However, the main reason why I point at them specifically for this subject is that just recently they are the ones who were chosen (and with good reasons) to develop the freshly-announced Command & Conquer Remasters. It might end up a turd sure... maybe. But the guys involved ARE the 'veterans' so to speak, which cannot be denied. We'll see if they lost their "touch" over time. I wish them the absolute best on that project because, if they succeed, it would mean a LOT of (well overdue) new exposure to the franchise itself but also would revitalize some general lost of interest from most gamers about RTS games overall.

But yes it's true. That generally-speaking there's only very few select cases of people leaving a (known) studio, to work in a new one and ending up making something good at one point or another. It's very rare, but ultimately we can't blame the guy for trying you know. He needs to make a living off of what he worked on in his life and what he knows about. I doubt he's gonna go try doing lumberjack tomorrow lol. We can only hope for the best. Because at this point anyway it's not like the current BioWare is going to do any better than he will with the new studio anyway. Right now BioWare actually DO make games that are about as polished and "fun" as Early Access turds on Steam, so to me it's actually sort of good news more than anything else.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@rekonym: I never play RTS games, especially on PC, so I have no idea which ones are good, but what you're saying sounds about right.

I actually can think of two examples: Death Stranding and Bloodstained, but neither game is out yet so it remains to be seen just how amazing these games are. Right now, Death Stranding is amazing just in how weird it looks, and Bloodstained for...well, many of the same reasons as Death Stranding, except the weird part.

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mdinger

Hopefully he can get some of the top Bioware devs still at EA to defect to his new studio. If Anthem is anything to go by, Bioware as we knew it, is dead.

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Barighm

@mdinger: I don't think there are any left.

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whizler

"Flynn" - I wonder if that's his original name or if he changed it as a fan of TRON.

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MisterTech

I'm cool with online focus... just give us a great game with content THEN build on that. Say what you will but games like Destiny,Division, and Anthem are just too sparse in content. I get there are fans out there of the stuff and I even like the premise of these games but give me atleast 25 to 30 hours of a solid story driven

Co-op experience with solid endgame THEN hit me with Dlc plans. I'm ok with it as long as you dont assume I'm just going to be a yes man and buy w.e.. unfortunately the latter is most common.

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videogameninja

And so, the great Bioware exodus begins.

-LET MY PROGRAMMERS GO! NINJA APPROVED-

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@videogameninja: But the exodus happened long ago......

Avatar image for videogameninja
videogameninja

@Thanatos2k: I guess the people who left are still wandering in the desert then.

😉

-40 YEARS NINJA APPROVED-

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@videogameninja: That actually happened a while go.