In a legnthy post on the BioWare Blog, studio general manager Gary McKay took a look back on 2021 and its set of challenges, as well as talked about the future of what BioWare will look like, especially as it looks to hiring new talent to help make its next games. McKay also touched on the need to build back fan and community trust after the hardships that 2021 brought on.
One of the first things to shake up the studio going into 2022 is a change in how BioWare hires its talent. As more and more of practically every industry is embracing remote work, especially as we enter the third year still dealing with Covid on a wide scale, BioWare is adopting remote hiring as well. Instead of only looking to those who would relocate themselves to either Austin, Texas or Edmonton, Canada, BioWare is now open to bringing in talent from anywhere in North America.
"Our goal is to lean into the things that everyone likes about working from home, while also giving people the opportunity to return to the office with more flexibility. Going forward, we’ll have new challenges with a hybrid approach to work and are focused on new tech that will help maximize collaboration and communication between onsite and remote people. Another subtle but important change we’ve made is in our hiring practices: Previously, we were only looking for people willing to relocate to Austin and Edmonton; now we’re looking for new talent from anywhere in North America and we’ll meet them where they live. "
The studio head also touched on the upcoming expansion to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Legacy of the Sith was meant to launch last December, but a last-second delay saw the MMO's next story pushed to mid-February. According to this update, the expansion still seems on track to hit that February 15th date, with McKay talking up the features coming with Legacy, including the new combat styles and more.
One thing to note from the studio update is the recognition that the name of BioWare has waned in recent years, thanks in large part to the flop of Anthem, but also the disappointing reception of Mass Effect Andromeda. McKay specifically talks about the need to regain fan trust, and the team working hard to create the "types of games" the studio is "best known for."
"When I took on the GM role, I talked about rebuilding our reputation, and that remains a huge priority. We are laser-focused on building back the trust of our fans and community, and we plan to do that by delivering the types of games that we are best known for and ensuring they are of the highest quality. Our mission is to “Create worlds of adventure, conflict, and companionship that inspire you to become the hero of your story.” We want the launch of our games to be seminal moments in the industry. We want each game to earn the kind of reaction we’ve seen with Mass Effect Legendary Edition. We feel that we have the right people, the right creative focus, and the support from EA to deliver on the promise."
You can check out the full blog post on the BioWare website. As far as Mass Effect Legendary Edition, make sure you check out our review of the remastered series. If you're looking for more info on SWTOR's Legacy of the Sith, be sure to catch up with our recent interview with Creative Director Charles Boyd and Project Director Keith Kanneg.