BioWare, the EA-owned studio behind the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises, has announced it is laying off 50 employees. It says the studio must “shift towards a more agile and a more focused studio” and is eliminating 50 roles as a result.
As for BioWare’s two known in-development games, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and the next installment of Mass Effect, the studio says production on both are continuing. It says it is confident it has the time needed to ensure Dreadwolf reaches its full potential while a “core veteran team” led by Mike Gamble continues pre-production work on the next Mass Effect.
— BioWare (@bioware) August 23, 2023
“In order to meet the needs of our upcoming projects, continue to hold ourselves to the highest standard of quality, and ensure BioWare can continue to thrive in an industry that’s rapidly evolving, we must shift towards a more agile and more focused studio,” BioWare general manager Gary McKay writes in a new blog post. “It will allow our developers to iterate quickly, unlock more creativity, and form a clear vision of what we’re building before development ramps up.
“To achieve this, we find ourselves in a position where change is not only necessary, but unavoidable. As difficult as this is to say, rethinking our approach to development inevitably means recognizing our team to match the studio’s changing needs. As part of this transition, we are eliminating approximately 50 roles at BioWare. That is deeply painful and humbling to write. We are doing everything we can to ensure the process is handled with empathy, respect, and clear communication.”
McKay says this studio restructuring and elimination of roles aligns BioWare with a long-term vision the team has built to preserve the health of the studio and “create exceptional story-driven single-player experiences filled with vast worlds and rich characters.” As for the laid-off employees, McKay says they are being provided with professional resources and assistance to apply for various roles open across EA studios if employees wish to continue working with the publisher. However, McKay notes that it’s unlikely everyone will find a new role within the company.
“As cliche as this sounds, there truly is never a good time to enact changes like this, but we trust that we have the right leaders and team in place with vision, passion, and proven track records to deliver world-class Dragon Age and Mass Effect experiences that our fans will love,” McKay writes.
The hearts of Game Informer staff are with everyone affected by these layoffs.