Two of BioWare’s oldest and most well-known employees are leaving the studio. On Thursday, EA announced that both Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah have decided to retire. 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 in 2017 to take over as its general manager. EA has yet to name his replacement, noting it’s currently in the process of finding a new GM to lead the developer. Hudson says he “made the decision to retire from the studio and make way for the next generation of studio leaders.”
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. “This has been a very difficult decision for me,” Darrah said. “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.”
“When I think about BioWare’s future and the next generation of talent in place, I could not be more confident or optimistic,” said Laura Miele, chief studios officer at EA. “As we look to the studio’s future and the projects currently under development, the next generation of BioWare talent is leading the studio forward and working on some incredible games that I know you will be excited to experience in the coming years.”
The timing of the announcement comes at an interesting time for BioWare. The past few years have been turbulent with the flops of Anthem and Mass Effect: Andromeda. But things looked like they were on their way up with the recent announcement of a remaster of the first three Mass Effect games, as well as a new sequel to the series. At Gamescom, BioWare also showed off a very brief look at a new Dragon Age game.