The last 24 hours or so have been a whirlwind for BioWare, as a huge investigation into Anthem's development brought to light many issues going on behind-the-scenes. At first, BioWare's response was largely seen as dismissive of the story but since then, the studio's leadership has had a chance to evaluate the situation, with a memo being sent out to employees today.
Kotaku's Jason Schreier, the same journalist behind the Mass Effect Andromeda and Anthem investigation pieces, obtained BioWare's internal memo today. This was sent out by Casey Hudson to employees of the studio, directly addressing most of the problems brought forward in the Kotaku article.
“I wanted to get a note out to you to share my thoughts on the Kotaku article and the online discussion it has raised”, the memo reads. “The article mentions many of the problems in the development of Anthem and some of our previous projects. And it draws a link between those issues and the quality of our workplace and the well-being of our staff. These problems are real and it’s our top priority to continue working to solve them.”
BioWare does take issue with “the naming of specific developers” in the article, saying that it singles those individuals out for public criticism. Still, the memo does not dismiss the problems that were brought up. Hudson goes on to say:
“When I was offered the opportunity to return to BioWare as GM, I came into the role knowing the studio was experiencing significant challenges in team health, creative vision, and organizational focus. I was – and continue to be – excited to help drive improvements in those areas because I love this studio, and above all I want to create a place where all of you are happy and successful.”
Hudson tells employees that there will be an “all-hands” meeting at BioWare next week to discuss future plans and changes in response to feedback.
KitGuru Says: Hopefully this situation can spark changes at BioWare and other studios going through similar issues. Beyond the technical side of things, there were a number of other problems with Anthem and Mass Effect development that need to be addressed, especially as work on Dragon Age 4 starts to get underway.