Gary McKay has written candidly about his first year as general manager at BioWare, describing how the studio continues to adapt during the coronavirus pandemic, and how it intends to “rebuild [its] reputation” following the cancellation of its live-service shooter, Anthem.
“This has been another challenging year, with both work and home life continuing to be disrupted by the uncertainty of the global pandemic,” McKay wrote in a blog on the official BioWare website. “We’ve had to continue to think on our feet to adapt to changing circumstances.
“When I took on the GM role, I talked about rebuilding our reputation, and that remains a huge priority,” McKay acknowledged. “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.”
He also reflect positively on the critical and fan reception to Mass Effect Legendary Edition, and said “we’ve come together as a studio to help each other out, even in our personal lives. We show up for each other and pull together as a team”.
“We want each game to earn the kind of reaction we’ve seen with Mass Effect Legendary Edition,” he wrote. “We feel that we have the right people, the right creative focus, and the support from EA to deliver on the promise.”
There was no mention of Anthem, however, which was panned by critics and players alike, and was formally cancelled at the start of last year.
The blog finishes on McKay stating he can’t wait ‘for you to see what we’ve been working on”, but stopped short of hinting on when that might be.
“And of course, we remain hard at work on the next iterations of Dragon Age and Mass Effect,” McKay added. “I’m seeing some incredible work from both teams.
“If you’re curious about Mass Effect, I’d encourage you to take a look at the poster we released on N7 Day. If you look closely, there are a handful of hidden treats; by my count, there are at least five surprises, all of which point to an amazing future in the Mass Effect universe.”
As for Dragon Age? Well, it certainly seems lessons have been learned from Anthem.
“[W]e have a veteran group of talented developers working on the next iteration of the franchise,” McKay said. “We are focused on a single-player experience that is built on choices that matter.”
ICYMI, People Make Games recently released a new video highlighting what it was like to work at BioWare during the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy.