A new report has suggested that, following the less-than-stellar response to Mass Effect: Andromeda from fans and critics alike, BioWare Montreal is being “scaled down” and that staff from the satellite studio are being moved onto different projects within the company. Worse, the same report indicates that the beloved science fiction franchise is being put on the back burner for the foreseeable future.
The report, which comes from Kotaku, cities several anonymous sources that indicate a number of staff members from BioWare Montreal have already been reallocated to EA Motive, one of the teams currently working on Star Wars Battlefront II, and to BioWare HQ in Edmonton where work is progressing on an as-yet-unannounced title codenamed Dylan.
BioWare Montreal studio director Yanick Roy has responded requests for comment from multiple outlets with the following prepared statement:
Our teams at BioWare and across EA put in tremendous effort bringing Mass Effect Andromeda to players around the world. 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.
While Mass Effect: Andromeda has already received its share of patches, including a significant update that dropped earlier today to address cinematics and multiplayer balance, Roy’s statement does seem to indicate that Kotaku’s sources aren’t far wide of the mark — that the studio is already pressing forward with work on other titles rather than pitching or building their own.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re dropping Andromeda like a bad habit — they clearly aren’t — but it is sad to see Mass Effect as a franchise go back on the shelf after such a long wait. We’re sure it won’t be the last we see of the series (apparently that fate has only been reserved for poor, underrated Jade Empire) but it may be a long while before we see it again.