Two key BioWare developers have announced their departure from the Mass Effect studio. Casey Hudson, general manager and longtime BioWare developer, and Mark Darrah, Dragon Age executive producer, have both announced they are leaving the studio.
Both Hudson and Darrah have been with BioWare for most of its 25 year lifetime and helped shape the studio's most iconic game series like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and many more.
Each frames their departure as a retirement from BioWare, with Hudson noting specifically that he is stepping aside to "make way for the next generation of studio leaders." Hudson himself has spent almost 20 years at BioWare, though he briefly stepped away from 2015 to 2017 to work at Microsoft Studios.
"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," reads Hudson's 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."
Gary McKay, sr. director of development operations, is stepping in as the interim studio GM while BioWare searches for a permanent replacement for Hudson, while BioWare Austin studio director Christian Dailey is taking over Darrah's role as Dragon Age executive producer.
"I have been at BioWare since the 90s. Back when CRPGs were considered a dead genre. Through the last 23 years, I have watched video games evolve and grow into a truly powerful communication medium," reads Darrah's departure blog. "We are an important part of so many people’s lives. And BioWare has been a part of this journey. Though I remain confident in BioWare’s strength and continued place in this conversation, I have decided to retire from my position at BioWare."
Neither of the two details their next steps in their departure posts, with Hudson simply noting "it’s hard to make the decision to move on, but I’m excited about what’s next, for all of us" while Darrah adds "I don’t know what’s next for me, but I’m excited to find out. "