It hasn't been a good couple of years for BioWare, but now its future looks to be more nebulous than ever. On Thursday, publisher Electronic Arts announced that two of the developer's major higher-ups, General Manager Casey Hudson and Dragon Age Executive Producer Mark Darrah, are leaving the studio. That would seem to put the futures of BioWare's projects up in the air, though EA notes that the developer's upcoming slate will be unaffected by the departures.
The following was posted by EA Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele to the BioWare website:
We strive for all of our studios to be places where talented creative people come to do career-defining work. A dimension of this ambition is that sometimes those people want to try something different. Casey Hudson, GM, BioWare and Mark Darrah, Executive Producer, Dragon Age are two of those people and they have decided to move on from BioWare. I want to personally thank Casey and Mark for everything they have done for the BioWare community, and particularly for our players. They will always be an essential part of the studio’s history, we appreciate their many contributions, and we look forward to seeing what they'll each do next. More from Casey here and Mark here.
When I think about BioWare’s future and the next generation of talent in place, I could not be more confident or optimistic. As we look to the studio’s future and the projects currently under development, the next generation of BioWare talent is leading the studio forward and working on some incredible games that I know you will be excited to experience in the coming years.
Samantha Ryan, who came to Electronic Arts after leading Warner Brothers Games, is one of the strongest leaders in the industry. She will continue to oversee the studio. I’m also excited to announce Christian Dailey, who joined BioWare from Blizzard, will be leading our Dragon Age project currently in development. Christian is a fantastic creative leader and I look forward to you all getting to know him in the coming days. We recently announced Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition and Mike Gamble is leading a team hard at work on that franchise’s future.
The search for a new GM is underway and we are already talking to some great people. We will find the right leader who has a deep love and respect for this studio’s heritage, who embodies the values of this team and who will help carry on the incredible legacy of BioWare.
IGN, one of the first outlets to break the story, points out that this is Hudson's second time leaving BioWare. Hudson first exited BioWare in 2014 to work with Microsoft until he returned to BioWare in 2017.
Darrah's departure may sound some alarms for those waiting for the new Dragon Age. While Christian Dailey is touted as a former Blizzard employee, those who have followed BioWare will recognize him as one of the faces of the eventual (assuming it's still coming) Anthem revamp.
There has been little news about the new Dragon Age since its reveal at The Game Awards and even before this news, it didn't look like it would be coming anytime soon. The other franchise that stands to be affected by this news is Mass Effect, especially as Mass Effect Legendary Edition is on the schedule for 2021. However, as noted before, EA expects that anything in the works will not be affected.
Shacknews will follow this story as it develops. Keep it here for the latest news.