BioWare, the studio well-known for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series', has found itself in a bit of hot water over the past couple of years after middling reviews for Mass Effect: Andromeda and the commercial and critical failure of Anthem. While fans have become a little weary of their favorite studio, a possible return to the BioWare glory days is something that would be welcomed by many.
Recently, the EA-owned studio announced a remaster of the original Mass Effect trilogy (Mass Effect: Legendary Edition) for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, slated to release Q1 or Q2 of 2021. That, along with the teasing of a new Dragon Age game, hinted at a possible return to form for BioWare, but all may not be as it seems.
EA announced in a post on the BioWare website the departure of BioWare studio general manager Casey Hudson and executive producer of the upcoming Dragon Age game Mark Darrah.
EA reassured that all currently planned projects including Anthem's rework Anthem Next, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, and the upcoming Dragon Age sequel remain on track, despite the management shake-up.
Hudson, most well known for his work on the original Mass Effect trilogy, left the studio for the first time back in 2014 to pursue other projects, but after a brief stint working at Microsoft Studios, returned in 2017 to take on the General Manager role.
WHAT THIS MEANS
While there are a few things for fans to be excited about in BioWare's future, a shakeup such as this is never a good sign. It has seemed over the past year or so that BioWare has been eagerly trying to regain its reputation as one of the premier studios in the gaming industry, but having the face of the studio in Casey Hudson depart is not a good look.
Hudson was brought in to get the former RPG masters back on track at BioWare only three years ago. His leaving could be a sign of him getting out of the industry or pursuing another opportunity or could mean something more sinister is afoot at the studio.
As for Mark Darrah's departure, the only thing fans should take from this is that the upcoming Dragon Age game is further away than one may think. Someone this highly involved in the development of a game most often points to the game being released later rather than sooner.
If you were excited to get your Dragon Age in 2021, a replay of the older games in the series may be the only place to do it.