BioWare's fan forums have now reached four million user accounts, the company announced today.
BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk began cultivating a fan community around Baldur's Gate on newsgroups and in chat rooms back in 1996, and its own forums launched in 2001 alongside Neverwinter Nights, which is when it began collecting registrations.
On the heels of Mass Effect, and with Dragon Age up ahead (plus the mysterious "unnanounced MMO"), Bioware said its community usership is at an all-time high.
More users, apparently, have united for social interaction around the work of a single studio than use social networking sites like Friendster and Xanga. EA recently acquired a social network of its own — makes you think, perhaps, about where they might be going with it.
Full announcement follows the jump.
BioWare's Community Tops 4 Million Members
BioWare Fan Site Exceeds Many Social Networking Communities
EDMONTON, Alberta—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Leading video game developer BioWare®, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), today announced that its registered fan community is now over four million user accounts strong and still growing actively. With an average of 38,000 new accounts being created every month, the fan community is thriving with active, vocal members. While sites such as Friendster and Xanga host an audience of 1MM and 2MM respectively1, the BioWare community brings together 4MM2 people to chat, exchange ideas, discuss their favorite games, provide critical feedback to the BioWare development teams and more. BioWare continues to support and nurture its enthusiastic fan base through open communication with BioWare's development team, and by providing exclusive content to registered community members.
Established in 1996 by co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, BioWare began promoting the idea of creating and managing a community behind Baldur's Gate™ on 3rd party newsgroups and chat rooms. Then in 2001, BioWare launched its own forums with the release of Neverwinter Nights™ and began formally collecting community registrations. By 2003, BioWare hit the 1 million user account mark and it has continued to support the community through meaningful communication, features and content. With the release of Mass Effect™ for the PC and Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system, and the highly anticipated upcoming release of Dragon Age™, an epic role-playing game in which BioWare returns to its roots to deliver a compelling Dark Heroic fantasy epic, as well as other exciting projects on the horizon such as an as-yet unannounced MMO from BioWare Austin, BioWare's community usership has risen to over four million registered members.
The BioWare mission is to deliver the best narrative-driven, emotionally compelling games in the world and the studio family has been recognized for this achievement in award-winning games such as Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™, Jade Empire™ and Mass Effect. With some of its fans now over a decade of community membership, the BioWare engaged community has been an integral part in achieving that goal.
"It's great to be able to talk directly with our fans – this is a cornerstone of BioWare's success, past, present and future," said Ray Muzyka, BioWare CEO and co-founder, and EA General Manager and Vice President. "We are proud to have created such a comfortable environment for BioWare's millions of fans from all over the world - and we truly value their feedback."
For more information, visit www.bioware.com/4million. To become a BioWare community member, please visit http://forums.bioware.com.
1 As according to Nielsen Netviews as of May 2008.
2 According to internal EA tracking as of June 2008.
BioWare develops computer, console, handheld and online video games focused on rich stories and memorable characters. Since 1995, BioWare has created some of the world's best-selling titles including the award-winning Baldur's Gate™ and Neverwinter Nights™ series, and Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™. Original BioWare-created IPs include Jade Empire™ and the 2007 Game of the Year, Mass Effect. With studios in Edmonton, Canada, and Austin, Texas, BioWare is hard at work on the epic fantasy RPG, Dragon Age and Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood for the Nintendo DS™, as well as several unannounced projects including a massively multiplayer online game. In 2008, BioWare was acquired by the world's leading electronic entertainment publisher, Electronic Arts. For more information on BioWare, visit www.bioware.com.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS™, EA™, EA SPORTS Freestyle™ and POGO™. In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.
BioWare, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Jade Empire are trademarks or registered trademarks owned by EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. in the U.S. and/or other countries. EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Freestyle and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Xbox and Xbox 360 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.