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Things Keep Getting Worse For BioWare

A trio of surprise statements from BioWare announced the departure of two key members of the company's senior leadership team, Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah. The news was first shared by Laura Miele, EA's chief studio officer, on BioWare's official blog, and supported by accompanying statements from Hudson and Durrah, also on the Bioware blog.

The announcement leaves a significant leadership gap at the company, considering that Casey Hudson served as BioWare's general manager and Mark Darrah was the executive producer for the Dragon Age series. Miele's announcement explains that the studio will be overseen by Samantha Ryan, EA's chief studios officer, while "the search for a new GM is underway." Christian Dailey, studio director in charge of the rebuild for Anthem, will take over for the Dragon Age project that is in development.

While Miele expressed confidence in the transition, the news sent shockwaves through the industry. Former BioWare employees took to Twitter to express their surprise, including former Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider and former Dragon Age lead director Mike Laidlaw. Industry analysts seemed equally blindsided, with Jason Schreier of Bloomberg News expressing similar sentiments.

Casey Hudson had been BioWare's general manager since 2017 when he rejoined the company after a three-year gap spent at Microsoft. Before he left the company in 2014, he had worked there continuously since 1998, starting as a junior technical artist on titles such as MDK before becoming a project director on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and continuing in that role for the Mass Effect series.

In his farewell announcement, Hudson reflected on his team and the studio's accomplishments over the last 25 years while thanking BioWare founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka for the opportunity. He also revealed that Gary McKay, BioWare's senior director of development operations, would serve as an interim general manager and expressed his confidence in Christian Dailey to lead the Dragon Age team.

Likewise, Mark Darrah used his goodbye post to reflect on his 23-year career at Bioware. During that time he worked on titles such as Baldur's Gate, Knights of the Old Republic, and served as executive producer for the Dragon Age series. Darrah also voiced his support for the transition of the Dragon Age series to the hands of Christian Dailey and stated his confidence in the continued presence of Matthew Goldman as the creative director of the franchise. 

While the recent announcements of new Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles has renewed fan interest in the revered studio, it's hard not to see this as another blow to the company. With questions about the value of the Anthem reboot already swirling, fans may have to get used to seeing things get worse at BioWare for a while.