Parent company of BioWare, Electronic Arts, has just revealed that Mass Effect director and BioWare general manager Casey Hudson, and Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah have resigned from the studio.
EA chief studios officer Laura Miele, thanked both of them for their years of service and work at the company in a recent blog post, and has reassured that upcoming future projects such as the next Dragon Age title and Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition are going to proceed as planned, despite the leadership shifts.
For Hudson, this is his second departure from BioWare. After working on all three of the original Mass Effect games, he left the studio in 2014 only to return back in 2017 to take over as its general manager.
Hudson has been with the studio for nearly 20 years, across two stints, where he also worked on popular titles such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn.
Darrah, meanwhile, was an executive producer on the Dragon Age franchise. BioWare Austin Studio Director Christian Dailey, who was with Blizzard previously, will take over for Darrah. The new Mass Effect and Dragon Age games will be handed over to the next generation of BioWare developers.
Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer of EA, had this to say about the change:
“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 general manager for BioWare is underway though no names have yet been made public, but Gary McKay, senior director of development operations, will serve as interim studio general manager.
“I want to personally thank Casey and Mark for everything they have done for the BioWare community, and particularly for our players,” Laura Miele wrote. “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.”
“When I think about BioWare’s future and the next generation of talent in place, I could not be more confident or optimistic,” Miele wrote.
Casey Hudson, who as recently as last month, announced that a new Mass Effect game was in development, said in his own statement that he was retiring from BioWare in order to make way for the next generation of studio leaders.
“It’s not an easy decision to make, and big changes like this always come with a certain degree of sadness. I will miss being able to work every day with our inspiring developers on the biggest and most exciting projects I can imagine. But I also know that this is a good time for a change, for both myself and BioWare,” Hudson said in a post explaining his departure.
“It’s profound and humbling to look back on a decades-long career and think about the things we’ve achieved together. It’s hard to make the decision to move on, but I’m excited about what’s next, for all of us.”
Mark Darrah, also offered similar sentiments in his own departure post, writing that his decision to retire from his position at BioWare was a very difficult one.
“This has been a very difficult decision for me. The team of amazing developers on Dragon Age, make my life fuller and better. They have taught me so much. But the strength of the team is also what makes this possible. I know that Dragon Age won’t just survive without me, it will thrive.”
“BioWare has always been about telling emotional stories through characters. We have wandered away from this central guiding pillar at times, but I am confident that the next Dragon Age will show that we remain committed to this kind of game. We will have a lot to show you.”
“Dragon Age will be in good hands. Christian Dailey will be moving into the Executive Producer role. I don’t know what’s next for me, but I’m excited to find out. Just as I’m excited to find out what Dragon Age now becomes.”
BioWare is now without a general manager, which means Hudson’s departure was sudden and not planned before.
“The search for a new GM is underway and we are already talking to some great people,” Laura Miele wrote. “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.”
As reported by PCGamer, both these departures also come closely behind the recent announcement of Yellow Brick Games, a new studio co-founded by former Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw.
Mike Laidlaw also expressed his sentiments on Twitter.
Uhm…holy shit? https://t.co/HxFCQOZVh5
— Mike Laidlaw (@Mike_Laidlaw) December 3, 2020
BioWare veteran and former Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider also tweeted.
sweet mother of zeus https://t.co/ruDEMcIbb2
— David Gaider (@davidgaider) December 3, 2020
The project director on Mass Effect, Michael Gamble, had to say this.
I'll never forget playing Mass Effect for the first time. How it made me feel, and how it inspired me in my career. I never imagined I would be lucky enough to work for the guy that was a driving force behind it. Thank you, Casey. For everything. https://t.co/mlRBpt4fEA
— Michael Gamble (@GambleMike) December 3, 2020
Everything you've taught me. Everything we've discussed. And much like Ray and Greg altered the course of your life…know that you did the same for me. I look forward to sitting down with you outside of the office (and get your feedback on) the Mass Effect teams latest work.
— Michael Gamble (@GambleMike) December 3, 2020
BioWare recently announced Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition, a collection of the first three core Mass Effect games, and also revealed early artwork for the next Mass Effect title. The developer also showed off an early development of a new Dragon Age game. Lastly, EA will give us a glimpse at this new Dragon Age game at The Game Awards 2020, next week.
Stay tuned for more!