BioWare issues round of layoffs ahead of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf

BioWare GM Gary McKay calls the move 'unavoidable' as Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's development ramps up.


BioWare has two major projects lined up for the future. Years have already passed since Dragon Age: Dreadwolf was first announced. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that everybody at the studio will see that project through to the end. On Wednesday, BioWare General Manager Gary McKay announced that 50 employees are being laid off from the developer as part of a restructuring plan.

The following was posted to the BioWare website in an effort to explain the reasoning for the layoffs, actions being taken to help those affected, and how it will ultimately be a boon to the development of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf:

After much consideration and careful planning, we have built a long-term vision that will preserve the health of the studio and better enable us to do what we do best: create exceptional story-driven single-player experiences filled with vast worlds and rich characters. This vision balances the current needs of the studio — namely, ensuring Dragon Age™: Dreadwolf is an outstanding game — with its future, including the success of the next Mass Effect™.

We've chosen to act now in part to provide our impacted colleagues with as many internal opportunities as possible. These changes coincide with a significant number of roles that are currently open across EA's other studios. Impacted employees will be provided with professional resources and assistance as they apply for these positions.

While it's unlikely that everyone will find a new role within the company, we are committed to supporting our staff as they navigate this change. Our sincere hope is that they can continue their exemplary work at studios who stand to benefit immensely from their talents.

If you're wondering how all of this will impact development of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, let me be clear that our dedication to the game has never wavered. Our commitment remains steadfast, and we all are working to make this game worthy of the Dragon Age name. We are confident that we'll have the time needed to ensure Dreadwolf reaches its full potential.

I can also tell you that every member of our team, even those departing BioWare, deserves credit for crafting a spectacular experience. These are our colleagues and friends, and we would not be here without them. I am so proud of all the work our team has done.

Star Wars: The Old Republic from BioWare
BioWare ceased development on Star Wars: The Old Republic earlier this year and passed it along to a new developer.
Source: BioWare

BioWare has already been taking some drastic steps to shift focus to the next Dragon Age title. That includes ending its 12 years of development on Star Wars: The Old Republic and passing duties off to developer Broadsword. Further restructuring could lead to speculation on how Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's development is progressing or lead to questions regarding whether it's hit some major setbacks beyond the departure of production director Mac Walters. It certainly won't help the perception that the studio is resorting to crunching its employees, as noted by former BioWare Executive Producer (but current Dragon Age consultant) Mark Darrah.

The fourth Dragon Age title was first unveiled at The Game Awards 2020 with the game receiving the Dreadwolf title in June 2022. The game began passing alpha milestones back in October, but there is still no release timing known since it will likely miss its 2023 release window. Even less is known about the new Mass Effect, which was also revealed back at The Game Awards 2020.

The development of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf looks like it will continue through 2024 even in the face of this studio shakeup. We'll keep watching this story and report on anything further as it develops.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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