Mass Effect, Dragon Age Making “Incredible” Progress, BioWare Embracing Remote Work Says GM

Nathan Birch
Mass Effect

After a string of bad years, 2021 represented a minor rebound for BioWare as they managed to release Mass Effect Legendary Edition without too much controversy. Now, as we head into 2022 BioWare GM Gary McKay has provided an update on the studio, and it seems like he’s confident in the direction their new Mass Effect and Dragon Age projects are going.

We remain hard at work on the next iterations of Dragon Age and Mass Effect. I’m seeing some incredible work from both teams. If you’re curious about Mass Effect, I’d encourage you to take a look at the poster we released on N7 Day. If you look closely, there are a handful of hidden treats. As for Dragon Age, we have a veteran group of talented developers working on the next iteration of the franchise. We are focused on a single-player experience that is built on choices that matter.

When I took on the GM role, I talked about rebuilding our reputation, and that remains a huge priority. We are laser-focused on building back the trust of our fans and community, and we plan to do that by delivering the types of games that we are best known for and ensuring they are of the highest quality. Our mission is to “Create worlds of adventure, conflict, and companionship that inspire you to become the hero of your story.” We want the launch of our games to be seminal moments in the industry. We feel that we have the right people, the right creative focus, and the support from EA to deliver on the promise.

Sounds good, although we did recently learn that Dragon Age’s senior creative director has left BioWare, so hopefully McKay isn’t just painting a happy face on things. Interestingly, McKay also reveals that BioWare will continue to pursue a “hybrid” approach, with devs having the option to work in-office or remotely. Crucially, that means talent will no longer have to move to BioWare’s Canadian mothership in Edmonton or Austin in order to work for the company.

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The pandemic has also taught us a lot about how we can work together, even while working across North America from hundreds of different locations. And now, we’ll use what we’ve learned and apply it to a new work model that will ensure flexibility for everyone in the studio. Our goal is to lean into the things that everyone likes about working from home, while also giving people the opportunity to return to the office with more flexibility. Another subtle but important change we’ve made is in our hiring practices: Previously, we were only looking for people willing to relocate to Austin and Edmonton; now we’re looking for new talent from anywhere in North America and we’ll meet them where they live.

Release windows and platforms have yet to be announced for BioWare’s upcoming Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles, although Dragon Age is expected to drop first, perhaps sometime in 2023.

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