Most people agree that BioWare, long considered one of the best RPG studios, isn’t what it used to be. Players’ confidence has collapsed with the failure of their last major projects, Mass Effect: Andromeda and, above all, Anthem. Currently, they’re working on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and Mass Effect 4, where they hope to reclaim some glory.
However, in the company culture things don’t seem to be looking good. a Tweet on X John Reinisch, former BioWare art director, reported that 50 employees at the Edmonton, Canada, studio were laid off last August and received no severance pay (Reinisch was supposedly one of them, according to his profile on the site). LinkedIn). Some of the former teammates who were also fired had been with the studio for over 16 years, and were behind the successes of Mass Effect and Dragon Age in the past (and worked on the future Dreadwolf). According to Renisch, not only did these workers receive no financial compensation, they also received no agreed-upon benefits (such as health coverage) and could not even add what they worked on at Dreadwofl to their investment portfolios. The issue escalated and they banded together to denounce the situation, which is illegal under Canadian law, in the courts.
This is just further evidence of the deterioration and precarity of jobs at large companies in the sector that we have witnessed throughout 2023. Epic Games, 343 Industries, and even Naughty Dog have cut staff, and many studios have been forced to close.