It would seem that a major development is occurring within the game development studio BioWare, and unfortunately it doesn’t look like a positive one. Casey Hudson- general manager of BioWare and co-creator of the Mass Effect series- and Mark Darrah- executive producer of the Dragon Age series- are both resigning from their positions at the company.
Hudson and Darrah have been with the company for over 20 years (although Hudson did leave for a couple of years back in 2014 and returned in 2017 after the poor reception of Mass Effect: Andromeda) and had a hand in some the biggest successes from the company. They are also known for bringing a semblance of hope to BioWare’s franchises after some negative releases. Hudson came back to the company after Andromeda’s negativity with many hoping that his input would revitalise the Mass Effect series and Darrah took over Anthem and helped to improve it significantly. This abrupt departure suggests a time of disruption at the company, which is never a good sign.
This is such a shame as things seemed to be looking up for BioWare in the last few months. We got an incredibly promising glimpse of Dragon Age 4 a few months ago and more recently, there was an announcement of the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, a remaster of the original trilogy. After the consistent disappointment from BioWare with Mass Effect: Andromeda in 2017 and Anthem in 2019, these two particular reveals suggested that BioWare was returning to its roots. However, it is hard not to feel like these hopes have been dashed following these departures.
There is a silver lining in that the Dragon Age 4 development will now be taken over by Christian Dailey, who previously worked with Blizzard and is thoroughly endorsed by Darrah in the blog post he wrote on his departure. Matthew Goldman will stay on as Creative Director for the series too and he has been around since the very first game, Dragon Age: Origins. At the very least, it would seem the fourth instalment in the Dragon Age franchise is in capable hands. Mike Gamble- who has been with the company for eleven years- will continue to head the Mass Effect team developing the Legendary Edition.
It is still hard to feel positive about these departures but it would seem that these both Dragon Age and Mass Effect– two of my all-time favourite video game franchises by the way- are in good hands. Hudson, Darrah and Laura Miele– the Chief Studios Office for EA- released blog posts on the departures on the official BioWare website. I will link them above but for all the positivity within them, there isn’t much information as to why Hudson and Darrah have both decided to leave concurrently. Here’s hoping that there isn’t too much conflict happening at BioWare at the moment.