The Bioware name has always meant “RPG” to me. However, I don’t mind that EA is moving the development of Command & Conquer 2 under that branding. It’s a name with plenty of room to grow. But that’s not all EA is doing. They’re folding their Victory Games studio into their Bioware label and calling it Bioware Victory, which has a really dopey ring to it.
Before the C&C studio was folded into Bioware, general manager Jon Van Caneghem commented on the name in this interview:
The initial idea came from the obvious parallel of winning in a strategy game, where the word “Victory” often ends up on your screen. The reason I think it fits so well is when you look at how to be successful in strategy games: it’s the ability to anticipate, plan, and react. This is no different when it comes to the gaming industry — you must anticipate the direction of the genre and marketplace, plan for what the consumers are looking for, and stay nimble enough to react to environmental changes.
In other words, marketing guys came up with the name. By that rationale, Bioware Pwn would work just as well. As a word, “victory” is too on-the-nose to be used unironically, unless you’re making serious wargames or selling to people in Wisconsin.
But what’s in a name, beyond the opportunity to take cheap shots on the internet? The Command & Conquer: Generals 2 announcement is a cause for celebration because Bioware Victory seems to be nee EALA, and those guys have been doing mostly great work, and even taking some risks. I’m glad to see the Frostbite 2 engine pressed into service. It served Need for Speed: The Run quite well. But mostly, I’m glad to see Generals picked up again. I’ve been playing a fair bit of the original Generals lately, and it has a lot to teach the genre. So long as EA, er EALA, uh, I mean Bioware Victory appreciates the basics* of C&C Generals, I expect a grand real time strategy game in 2013.