Jeff Bell on Mass Effect Exclusivity, Wii Success, and More
A few weeks back at CES, 1UP was able to speak with Microsoft’s Jeff “What’s Your Contribution to Society?” Bell, and he shed some light on quite a variety of subjects. The implications of the Warner Bros. exclusivity shift, the Wii’s bubble bursting, his infamous message to a NeoGAF user – you name, he talked about, and he was quite upfront about things as well, which I think we can all appreciate.
1UP: What impact, if any, will Bill Gates have on the gaming division? He seems to be on more of the high-end, philosophical visions for Microsoft, but does that have a trickle down effect on you guys?
Bell: Well, you know, there is a word of caution: 20% of Bill Gates is probably 150% of most normal human beings. He’ll still be around and setting strategy. Bill is a gamer; he does more MSN games than Xbox games or Games for Windows, but he’s an avid bridge and texas hold ‘em player, he’s kind of legendary for playing Warren Buffet over bridge on MSN. So, he’s intrigued by this — he also has young children and he’s been a big proponent of driving a lot of our social play, our physical play development that we’re going forward with — Guitar Hero being a big success, Rock Band now a big success. He’s very interested. His kids obviously like to play games, so I think he’s going to be very much involved.
1UP: How does having Electronic Arts acquire BioWare and Pandemic affect your relationship with the Mass Effect franchise going forward? Does that mean you wouldn’t have a say in, for example, Mass Effect 2 going multi-platform?
Bell: Obviously, we couldn’t have a better partner acquiring one of our partners. EA is really strong in our relationship, whether it’s on the sports side or on their other incredible franchises like Rock Band. We do very well with them, they know us very well. [With] Chris Satchell’s group with SDK and development kits, [we have] very, very deep relationships to make sure their games play best — 60 frames per second on Madden versus 30 frames per second on our competition, etc.
Whatever the future holds for Mass Effect, we know it’s going to be part of our future, as well. We just look forward to making it an even better game that what is obviously an extraordinarily great game right now.
Read the full interview at 1UP.