Two of BioWare’s most senior leaders, Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah, have announced that they will be leaving the Mass Effect and Dragon Age production studio after twenty years of employment.
On December 3rd, EA Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele published a statement to the official BioWare blog announcing that Hudson, the studio’s General Manager, and Darrah, the Executive Producer on the Dragon Age series, “have decided to move on from BioWare.”
“I want to personally thank Casey and Mark for everything they have done for the BioWare community, and particularly for our players,” wrote Miele. “They will always be an essential part of the studio’s history, we appreciate their many contributions, and we look forward to seeing what they’ll each do next.”
Miele then informed fans that Group General Manager Samantha Ryan “will continue to oversee the studio” while Anthem Franchise Development Director of Live Service Christian Dailey “will be leading our Dragon Age project currently in development.”
As for Mass Effect, the EA executive noted that former Anthem Lead Producer Mike Gamble “is leading a team hard at work on that franchise’s future.”
During his tenure at BioWare, Hudson initially worked as a technical artist before being promoted to project director for the first Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic title, a role he would also fulfill throughout the Mass Effect trilogy, prior to his his first departure from the studio in 2014.
Hudson would return four years later, replacing Aaryn Flynn as the studio’s General Manager in 2017.
“After nearly 20 years of work at BioWare, I’ve made the decision to retire from the studio,” explained Hudson, commenting on the announcement in his own blog post. “It’s not an easy decision to make, and big changes like this always come with a certain degree of sadness. I will miss being able to work every day with our inspiring developers on the biggest and most exciting projects I can imagine. But I also know that this is a good time for a change, for both myself and BioWare.”
Darrah, who interestingly developed most of the combat system featured in the original Baldur’s Gate, spent his time at BioWare serving as the executive producer for the Dragon Age series, as well as project director for the second game in the franchise.
Echoing Hudson’s sentiments, Darrah told fans in his own, separate statement that “though I remain confident in BioWare’s strength and continued place in this conversation, I have decided to retire from my position at BioWare.”
“This has been a very difficult decision for me,” he admitted. “The team of amazing developers on Dragon Age, make my life fuller and better. They have taught me so much. But the strength of the team is also what makes this possible. I know that Dragon Age won’t just survive without me, it will thrive.”
What do you make of Hudson and Darrah’s exits? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!