BioWare Head: Wii 'Like a Toy Experience'

By Aaron Linde, Apr 23, 2008 8:00pm PDT BioWare president Greg Zeschuk said that the Wii is less like a game console and more akin to a toy, citing Nintendo's emphasis on casual gaming experiences.

"[Wii] experiences are much more like a toy experience," Zeschuk told GameDaily. [People] are playing, together or not, but you're not 'gaming' anymore...If gaming is defined by story, then generally Wii may not be."

BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka disagreed, suggesting that while the Wii focuses on casual experiences, the console offers a different brand of narrative.

"I think it IS gaming," Muzyka insisted. "When you look at a moment to moment experience what a player does on a Wii game, it's different, lighter, and more toy-like. But there's also a narrative between the players outside the game and kind of fulfills the same things games do. Games are 'toys' in the sense that they're fun."

BioWare, which created such story-centric titles as the Baldur's Gate (PC) series, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC, Xbox) and Mass Effect (PC, X360), is currently working on Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood for the Nintendo DS as well as an unnamed MMO strongly rumored to be set in the KOTR universe.

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  • His comments may be true about the landscape of Wii titles, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are true about what Wii owners want. IMO the Wii has been fairly neglected and untested when it comes to good story driven games. Maybe the few that there have been didn't do well enough for publishers to try more, I don't know.

    Whether their statements have meaning or not, my initial reaction is that it's like saying that most Windows programs are applications like Word and Paint and so using the PC is like doing work rather than a story-driven game. I mean, if a platform only has lots of casual titles surely that makes it a *bigger* market for a story-driven game because the people who only own that platform will see that game as something unique and it won't be competing with many other story-driven games.