Bioware GM Discusses State Of The Studio Including Rebuilding Its Reputation, New Remote Hiring Initiative
Bioware general manager Gary McKay has posted a blog discussing the state of the studio as it marches into 2022. The post provides some insight into the company's development and cultural goals moving forward, as well as light updates on its upcoming projects.
You can read the full post here, but one of the biggest takeaways is Bioware’s acknowledgment of previous missteps and its mission to get back in the good graces of its fans. McKay states that “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.” McKay touts the positive reception of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, which hits Xbox Game Pass today via EA Play, as a significant morale boost for the teams, and the target Bioware wants its future titles to hit.
Like virtually every studio, working during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major challenge for Bioware. However, McKay says the team has learned valuable lessons from the adjustment and will shift its work structure into a more flexible hybrid blend of remote employees and in-office staff. To that end, McKay announces the studio will begin recruiting new employees from all over North America without requiring them to relocate to the offices in Edmonton, Canada, or Austin, TX. “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,” says McKay
In terms of games, the studio is gearing up to release Legacy of the Sith, a new expansion for Stars Wars: The Old Republic, on February 15. McKay also gives the next Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles some lip service but only to reiterate that the development teams remain hard at work. For Dragon Age, in particular, McKay reaffirms the team's commitment to creating a "single-player experience that is built on choices that matter." Last month, Bioware said it planned to shed more light on Dragon Age 4 sometime this year. Another fun tidbit was McKay teasing that the Mass Effect poster it released on N7 Day last November teases five surprises pointing towards the future of the franchise.
It’s good to see Bioware adopt more flexible hiring and work policies and that Mass Effect Legendary Edition’s success has had a positive impact on the studio’s morale. The studio appears to be in a healthier position overall, so here's hoping it can continue to right the ship moving forward.