EA has announced that Casey Hudson, the general manager of BioWare, and Mark Darrah, the executive producer on the upcoming Dragon Age, will be departing the company. All currently ongoing projects, including Anthem Next, the next Dragon Age, and the Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition remasters among them, will continue as planned despite the leadership shifts.Samantha Ryan will continue to oversee the studio, while Christian Dailey, who joined BioWare from Blizzard, will now be leading the Dragon Age project as executive producer, with Matthew Goldman remaining as creative director on the project. And the Mass Effect collection will continue to be led by Mike Gamble as that team also remains “hard at work on the future of that franchise.”This marks Hudson’s second departure from Bioware, after he first left the studio in 2014 and announced a new position at Microsoft in 2015. Hudson rejoined BioWare in 2017 when then-GM Aaryn Flynn stepped down. While the company searches for a new GM, Gary McKay, the senior director of development operations, will act as interim Studio GM.”They will always be an important part of the studio’s history, we appreciate their many contributions, and we look forward to seeing what they’ll each do next,” Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer. EA, said in a statement announcing the duo’s departure.
“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.”
Darrah also wrote about the decision to leave, saying “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.
“Christian Dailey is a strong leader and will provide great insight to the rest of the Dragon Age leadership who remain. This is a team that includes people with decades of experience at BioWare. I am confident that, together, this is the team that can make this Dragon Age the best one yet.”
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In the meantime, BioWare’s long list of projects will continue – the company continues to produce Star Wars: The Old Republic, and work continues on Anthem Next, as BioWare hopes to revive the looter-shooter with a massive overhaul. Recent looks at Anthem 2.0 have included planned changes to loot and weapons, as well as Javelin builds and skill trees. (Christian Dailey, who is joining the DA team, has been the person behind these lengthy Anthem blog post updates.)
Meanwhile, BioWare celebrated N7 Day this year with the official confirmation of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, slated for a spring 2021 release, while also teasing that a new Mass Effect project is in the works from a “veteran team.” And, of course, Dragon Age 4 is also in the works following its teaser reveal at The Game Awards 2018, and most recently a behind-the-scenes look at Dragon Age 4 development during Gamescom 2020.