BioWare Wants To Rebuild Its Reputation, Promises "Highest Quality" Games Going Forward
BioWare's GM discusses the past year and what's next for the esteemed RPG studio.
BioWare general manager Gary McKay has published a blog post in which he outlined some of the notable events of the past year and laid out some high-level thoughts on where BioWare is headed next and what it is trying to achieve. McKay also touched upon how BioWare is pushing to restore its reputation and make games of the "highest quality" going forward.
McKay said 2021 was "another challenging year," due in part to the impact the pandemic has had on home and work life. "We've had to continue to think on our feet to adapt to changing circumstances. But despite all that, it has been an absolute joy to lead a studio with so many unbelievably talented people, a team that always pushes the envelope through innovation and an unflagging pursuit of quality," he said.
"Continuing to work under the pressure of a world pandemic has not been easy. We've had to adopt new tools, processes, and ways to communicate. We're all balancing personal time and work, and each person is dealing with their own unique situation," McKay added. "The biggest challenge continues to be the uncertainty of it all, which makes everyone's life more difficult and makes it hard to plan for the future."
Driven by the pandemic, BioWare is making changes to its workplace policies to offer workers greater flexibility. Like other developers, BioWare is embracing a hybrid model whereby some come to the office and others work remotely. In regards to BioWare's hiring practices, the company previously asked workers to relocate to Austin or Edmonton, but now the company's North America-based employees can work anywhere.
McKay called out the launch of the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition as a particularly proud moment for BioWare in 2021. "We're so proud to have released one of the highest-rated games on console, and the reception really underscores the value of striving for excellence and quality in every element of a game," McKay said.
As for BioWare's future, McKay said there is a lot to look forward to, beginning with The Old Republic's new Legacy of the Sith expansion, which releases on February 15. Beyond that, BioWare's teams continue to work on the previously announced new Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles. McKay said Mass Effect fans should examine the teaser art released on N7 Day in November for clues about the next game.
"If you look closely, there are a handful of hidden treats; by my count, there are at least five surprises, all of which point to an amazing future in the Mass Effect universe," McKay said.
For Dragon Age, McKay reiterated that the new title will be focused on single-player and giving players "choices that matter." The line about the game being focused on single-player is noteworthy given BioWare was apparently planning a multiplayer element for the game but ultimately decided to go another way.
Finally, McKay discussed how one of his responsibilities as GM of BioWare is on "rebuilding" the reputation of BioWare. This remains a "huge priority," he said.
"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 explained. Our mission is to 'Create worlds of adventure, conflict, and companionship that inspire you to become the hero of your story.' We want the launch of our games to be seminal moments in the industry. We want each game to earn the kind of reaction we've seen with Mass Effect Legendary Edition. We feel that we have the right people, the right creative focus, and the support from EA to deliver on the promise."
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