BioWare GM and Mass Effect lead Casey Hudson and Dragon Age Executive Producer Mark Darrah are both leaving BioWare after lengthy 20+ year tenures with the company.
Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah are household names for anyone who loves BioWare games. Hudson has been with the company for almost 20 years in total, first leaving in 2014 to work at Microsoft, and returning in 2017 to serve as GM and help ship Anthem. Mark Darrah’s tenure with BioWare extends a solid 23 years back to the late 90s.
Hudson says his reason for leaving is to pursue more personal creative projects. “Arriving at this point has been an opportunity for me to reflect on my own future, and 2020 has been a year that forced all of us to re-imagine how we think about work and life,” he said in a blog post. “For me, it’s been the realization that I still have tremendous energy to create, but also that I need to try something different. I’m not sure exactly what that is yet, but I know that I want to start by rediscovering my creative passion through more personal work.”
Darrah similarly cites this year as a particularly eye-opening experience that helped make this decision for him. Darrah says in his own blog post that he’s not certain what he’ll do next after leaving BioWare.
Both developers praise the teams and leadership at BioWare, reassuring fans that things are in good hands. “I know that Dragon Age won’t just survive without me, it will thrive,” Darrah says, while Hudson states “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.”
Gary McKay is currently acting interim GM for BioWare while Christian Dailey, a Blizzard alum who has been working on the Anthem reboot, has been tasked with leading the current Dragon Age project (colloquially known as Dragon Age 4, but still without an official title as of yet). Anthem development is continuing to move forward. Mass Effect development is also unaffected, with Mass Effect: Legendary Edition still planned to release and “Mike Gamble…leading a team hard at work on that franchise’s future.”
EA is searching for a new permanent BioWare GM to replace Hudson. “The search for a new GM is underway and we are already talking to some great people. We will find the right leader who has a deep love and respect for this studio’s heritage, who embodies the values of this team and who will help carry on the incredible legacy of BioWare.”
We wish Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah the best on where their journey takes them next.