BioWare's posted a state of the studio blog with some interesting news for job-seekers in the video game industry. The company has announced that it's now going to be recruiting employees to remotely work at its studios from anywhere in North America, not just at its offices.
General manager Gary McKay (who stepped into the role formally last June) says that the change is largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, writing that BioWare will be adapting to hybrid work roles by "[focusing] on new tech that will help maximize collaboration and communication between onsite and remote people."
"Previously, we were only looking for people willing to relocate to Austin and Edmonton," he added. "Now we’re looking for new talent from anywhere in North America and we’ll meet them where they live."
What goes unspoken in McKay's post is that the game industry broadly has been in a bit of a talent shuffle lately, with competitive start-ups built for remote work putting pressure on industry developers to improve employee offerings. Companies like Ubisoft and Eidos Montreal have been making similar adaptations to retain talent.
An embrace of remote work feels like a huge shift in how well the company is able to retain talent. Public fiascos like the troubled development of Anthem have been attributed for why many high-profile employees have left the company, but there's also the fact that the company's Edmonton office is relatively remote and suffers extremely cold winters.
Meanwhile the company's Austin office may offer warmer weather, but the political climate it operates in has proven equally frigid of late.
McKay seems to acknowledge that BioWare has work to do in restoring its good name. "When I took on the GM role, I talked about rebuilding our reputation, and that remains a huge priority," he added in his blog. "We feel that we have the right people, the right creative focus, and the support from EA to deliver on the promise."