Jason Schrieri of Kotaku has released a leaked Casey Hudson email addressed to the staff at BioWare apparently aimed at addressing a large number of the flaws that the studio’s workers have. The complaints will be addressed at an all-hands meeting sometime next week, though there’s no confirmed date yet.
The email comes in the devastating aftermath of an expository Kotaku article that made use of over twenty different anonymous sources from BioWare and former BioWare developers to talk about the tumultuous development of BioWare’s recently-released looter shooter Anthem, which has had a large amount of negative press surrounding it.
Various allegations in the article stretched from a lack of central vision and constantly changing leadership (most of BioWare’s former names that gave it its reputation have since left to pursue other projects) to highly stressful development cycles and an over-reliance on crunch time, to the point that during the development of Mass Effect: Andromeda one developer had to repeatedly excuse themselves to a private room to cry.
Apparently, the reliance on crunch time comes due to a mistaken belief in “BioWare Magic“, in that the game would somehow put itself together and be able to run perfectly. This sort of thing even happened with Dragon Age: Inquisition, which BioWare’s devs apparently attempted to use as a vehicle to show the higher-ups that crunch time wasn’t working. The popularity of Inquisition then sabotaged that point.
Subsequent information that has been released has also shown that BioWare didn’t have to develop Anthem in Frostbite, but studio leadership demanded it. The engine has been shown multiple times to not be suited to be used in games like RPGs, as it was originally developed for Battlefield games, which are all first-person shooter.
The Casey Hudson email brings up these various revelations as well, and says that BioWare is committed to solving the problems especially since the article made a link that the horrible company culture was causing the drastic decline in work quality. Considering how BioWare’s game quality has been going down with each game, addressing these complaints might be the only way to save the studio.
Hopefully the Casey Hudson email will spark a change in BioWare, and soon we’ll be able to have BioWare return to the way it was during its golden age.