Mass Effect and Dragon Age studio is eliminating approximately 50 positions as parent attempts to turn it into a “more agile and focused studio.” The reorganization was “unavoidable,” according to BioWare general manager Gary McKay, as it was necessary in order to meet the studio’s evolving needs.
“After much consideration and careful planning, we have built a long-term vision that will preserve the health of the studio and better enable us to do what we do best: create exceptional story-driven single-player experiences filled with vast worlds and rich characters,” McKay . “This vision balances the current needs of the studio — namely, ensuring is an outstanding game — with its future, including the success of the next Mass Effect.”
McKay noted that BioWare is “committed to supporting” affected staff, adding that “we’ve chosen to act now in part to provide our impacted colleagues with as many internal opportunities as possible.” The affected roles align with similar positions at other EA studios, and workers will be provided with professional assistance if they apply for any. While they will still be credited for their work on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, McKay wrote that it’s “unlikely” that everyone affected will be able to find a new position at EA.
The next Mass Effect game, , is still in pre-production with a team led by producer Mike Gamble. McKay wrote that the studio’s dedication to Dragon Age: Dreadwolf (which will be the first game in the series since 2014) “has never wavered” and that BioWare is “confident” of having enough time to make sure the next entry “reaches its full potential.”
The cuts are related to an announcement that EA CEO Andrew Wilson made in March. Wilson said the company would around 6 percent of its workforce of its nearly 13,000 employees and reduce its office space footprint. BioWare is said to have around 250 workers.
Along with news of the job cuts, it emerged that EA is severing ties with game services company Keywords, which was working with BioWare on Dreadwolf. EA was unable to reach a new agreement with Keywords, an spokesperson told , and the existing contract comes to an end on September 27th.
Among other things, Keywords provides playtesting services. A group of quality assurance contractors in that part of the company voted to . EA has reportedly renewed contracts with Keywords since the June 2022 union vote, but it was unable to agree terms this time around amid the BioWare changes.