Even as secretive as the video game industry can be, it is almost impossible to keep a new project under wraps, and now a job posting for BioWare Austin may have spilled the beans on a potential new MMO from the studio.
The job posting is for a Lead Server Software Engineer based out of BioWare’s Austin, Texas location, the same studio that works on BioWare’s existing MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
“BioWare is seeking a qualified Senior Lead Server Engineer for a new, unannounced BioWare IP,” the job posting says. “This role will direct a team of software engineers to create the backend systems that will drive online play for this exciting new game.”
Under the required skills listed for the position, BioWare said that it is looking for someone with “architectural expertise in designing distributed simulation systems, particularly in an MMO or similar online context,” which suggests that the new hire will be developing the servers used to run an MMO.
How new is new?
While the job posting describes the upcoming game as a “new, unannounced BioWare IP,” it is hard to believe that the studio would create an MMO with an entirely new IP.
First of all, the MMO market is already notoriously difficult to break into, and Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft sits on a throne of skulls made from dozens of so-called “WoW Killers.” Selling a new IP is hard enough without the additional burden of making it an MMO.
It has also been quite some time since BioWare actually created an entirely new IP. In fact, the studio has not released a new IP since 2009’s Dragon Age: Origins.
If BioWare is actually making an MMO from one of its existing IPs, the studio has a few great options to choose from, including both the Dragon Age franchise and the Mass Effect franchise, both of which could make an easy transition into an MMO.
Of course, taking an IP everyone likes and shoehorning it into an MMO does not guarantee success, as The Elder Scrolls Online has proven, but hopefully BioWare will have learned from its experience with The Old Republic, both where it went right and where it went wrong.