Hudson, who directed and co-created the original Mass Effect trilogy and, as recently as last month, announced that a new Mass Effect game was in development, said in his own statement that he was retiring from BioWare in order to “make way for the next generation of studio leaders”.
“Arriving at this point has been an opportunity for me to reflect on my own future, and 2020 has been a year that forced all of us to re-imagine how we think about work and life,” he added. “For me, it’s been the realisation that I still have tremendous energy to create, but also that I need to try something different.”
Hudson has been with the studio for nearly 20 years, across two stints, where he also worked on popular titles such as Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic and Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows Of Amn. He had first left BioWare in 2014 and joined Microsoft the following year, before returning as general manager in 2017.
Darrah also spoke about his departure in a separate statement, where he described the decision to leave BioWare after 23 years as “very difficult”. He has been the executive producer of the Dragon Age series since its inception with Dragon Age: Origins in 2009.
“Dragon Age will be in good hands,” Darrah reassured fans in his statement, while noting that Christian Dailey, the studio director for BioWare Austin, would be taking over his role. “This is a team that includes people with decades of experience at BioWare. I am confident that, together, this is the team that can make [the upcoming] Dragon Age the best one yet.”
EA’s chief studios officer, Laura Miele, also revealed that the company is currently still searching for Hudson’s replacement, while reiterating that BioWare’s upcoming games are in good hands. “When I think about BioWare’s future and the next generation of talent in place, I could not be more confident or optimistic,” she said.
“The search for a new GM is underway and we are already talking to some great people. We will find the right leader who has a deep love and respect for this studio’s heritage, who embodies the values of this team and who will help carry on the incredible legacy of BioWare,” Miele added.
The announcements of Hudson and Darrah’s departures come hot on the heels of BioWare’s reveal of Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition, a collection of the original Mass Effect trilogy. The developer also recently unveiled more details about the long-awaited Dragon Age 4, which the studio previously noted that it was “making progress” on.