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It’s been a fun ride, but the guys behind two of BioWare’s most popular franchises have revealed that they’re leaving the studio after 20-plus years of game development.

Studio GM Casey Hudson (who’s best known for directing the Mass Effect trilogy) and Dragon Age Executive Producer Mark Darrah announced their departures via separate blog posts today, assuring fans that future installments are in good hands despite their surprise retirements.

“One of the things that makes these decisions easier is knowing that BioWare will move forward with a strong and complete set of studio leaders,” Hudson wrote. “We have a very talented leader in Gary McKay, our Sr. Director of Development Operations, who will be BioWare’s interim Studio GM. Christian Dailey has been a driving force for BioWare as Studio Director for BioWare Austin and will be taking over the role of Dragon Age’s Executive Producer.”

Mass Effect too has an exciting future,” Darrah added. “I won’t say too much but I am impressed by the growth of Mike Gamble and I am looking forward to all that franchise will do under his leadership.”

It isn’t clear why Hudson and Darrah have decided to jump ship, but the timing seems a little odd based on how busy BioWare is with its current projects, which include Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Dragon Age 4, and Anthem. We can’t help but think that the failure of the latter (and, perhaps, some EA shenanigans) contributed to their decision to exit.

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14 Comments

  1. Not a good sign when two of your top executives jump ship at the same time. Even one would be bad.

    Until now I had hoped bioware can course correct and I was cautiously optimistic about the next Dragon Age / Mass Effect, this changes that.

  2. Mike Laidlaw recently announced a new studio created with other industry veterans from both BioWare and Ubisoft. I wonder if either of these guys are going over there to work with him. Laidlaw was Creative Director and Lead Designer on the Dragon Age series, for anyone who didn’t know.

    https://www.gamesindustry.biz/artic…nd-ubisoft-veterans-create-yellow-brick-games

    1. “One of the things that makes these decisions easier is knowing that BioWare will move forward with a strong and complete set of studio leaders,” Hudson wrote. “We have a very talented leader in Gary McKay, our Sr. Director of Development Operations, who will be BioWare’s interim Studio GM. Christian Dailey has been a driving force for BioWare as Studio Director for BioWare Austin and will be taking over the role of Dragon Age’s Executive Producer.”
  3. “One of the things that makes these decisions easier is knowing that BioWare will move forward with a strong and complete set of studio leaders,” Hudson wrote. “We have a very talented leader in Gary McKay, our Sr. Director of Development Operations, who will be BioWare’s interim Studio GM. Christian Dailey has been a driving force for BioWare as Studio Director for BioWare Austin and will be taking over the role of Dragon Age’s Executive Producer.”

    Yes, he really hit it out of the park with Anthem…

  4. Given how badly people critizise most recent bioware titels (and not so recent) this should be seen as a good thing were it not that all the good people there are long gone anyways.
  5. Given how badly people critizise most recent bioware titels (and not so recent) this should be seen as a good thing were it not that all the good people there are long gone anyways.

    Well they did bring back Drew Karpyshin who had written ME1 and 2, only for him to leave a short while later again. All we can do is wait and see now. One failed game is not the end of the world. I don’t consider ME:A a failure.

  6. I don’t think BioWare is socially aware enough. They need a bit more SJW in their titles to be able to stand out in today’s Me Too culture.
  7. Didn’t Casey Hudson quit BioWare once before? He left early in Andromeda’s development as I recall. That was part of the problem.
  8. Didn’t Casey Hudson quit BioWare once before? He left early in Andromeda’s development as I recall. That was part of the problem.

    A bunch of people who worked on the original trilogy left early in development. I think the fact that they decided to bring in a bunch of Tumblr-types to create the game to try and make the game feel "fresh" was ultimately their undoing, though. Hudson probably came back because he thought he could salvage the developer, but EA has its claws dug in too deeply at this point.

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