Mass Effect Reportedly On "Hiatus," Changes Made At BioWare Montreal
EA confirms that some of the Andromeda developer's staff have moved to EA Motive.
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During a conference call with investors yesterday, EA management voiced support for both the Mass Effect franchise and Andromeda developer BioWare Montreal in light of the mixed reaction to the latest game in the series. But change is reportedly afoot at the studio, according to a new report.
Mass Effect has been put on "hiatus," Kotaku reports. The franchise hasn't been axed altogether, but Kotaku's sources indicate that EA is waiting to kick off development on the next game in the series, rather than immediately getting started, as you might expect.
Additionally, changes are reportedly being made to the direction of BioWare Montreal. Some individuals have been moved to EA Motive, which is contributing to the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront II (as well as another project that won't be out until at least 2018, if not later). The remainder of BioWare Montreal will either continue working on Andromeda multiplayer content or shift to the new BioWare IP, which was just pushed back until at least April 2018.
EA clarified with GameSpot that there hasn't been any downsizing at BioWare Montreal and shared a statement from studio director Yanick Roy. It confirms some staff have moved over to Motive or are now helping with other BioWare games.
"Our teams at BioWare and across EA put in tremendous effort bringing Mass Effect Andromeda to players around the world," Roy said. "Even as BioWare continues to focus on the Mass Effect Andromeda community and live service, we are constantly looking at how we're prepared for the next experiences we will create.
"The teams in EA Worldwide Studios are packed with talent, and more than ever, we are driving collaboration between studios on key projects. With our BioWare and Motive teams sharing studio space in Montreal, we have BioWare team members joining Motive projects that are underway. We're also ramping up teams on other BioWare projects in development.
"There will be much more to come from BioWare in the years ahead.”
Andromeda was the first Mass Effect game to be developed primarily by BioWare Montreal, a subject that came up often in interviews with Roy and other team members in our documentary series earlier this year.
"Mass Effect [Andromeda] is an interesting title; it was in development for a really long time and represented a lot of the great things that BioWare is known for: story, size, depth, breadth, imagination," Wilson said. "And while overall the aggregate review scores were lower than we would have liked, we did have over 100 reviewers score the game at 80 or higher. So it represents a fanbase that's very passionate, that's looking for very particular things, and many players found exactly what they're looking for, and some players did not."
"We're very happy with how BioWare is doing, how BioWare is treating Mass Effect, and our expectations for Mass Effect are still strong for the future and the franchise overall," he added.
Wilson promised that new content will continue to be released for Andromeda. He also denied that the issues Andromeda faced are related to the just-announced delay of BioWare's new IP.
Aside from new content, BioWare continues to work on improving Andromeda. Following an update last month that addressed Andromeda's maligned facial expressions, a new patch hit today that makes "various improvements" to its cinematic scenes.