After 23 years with BioWare, Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah is leaving the studio alongside general manager Casey Hudson.
Darrah, who had been with BioWare for 23 years, served on executive producer on the Dragon Age series and helped course-correct troubled games like Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem. Darrah's departure is an end of an era for BioWare, and his departure punctuates others like James Ohlen, who left BioWare in 2018 after 22 years with the studio, and creative director Mike Laidlaw, who left in 2017 after 17 years of Dragon Age games.
Darrah says he doesn't know what his next move will be, but he's "excited to find out."
The BioWare vet also says Dragon Age and Mass effect are in good hands:
Dragon Age will be in good hands. Christian Dailey will be moving into the Executive Producer role. Christian Dailey is a strong leader and will provide great insight into the rest of the Dragon Age leadership who remain. 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 this Dragon Age the best one yet.
Matthew Goldman remains the Creative Director. He has been on Dragon Age since the early days of Dragon Age: Origins. Like me, he has been involved in the franchise as it has changed over the years. He has a deep understanding of what it has been and what it has the potential to be.
Mass Effect too has an exciting future. I won't say too much but I am impressed by the growth of Mike Gamble and I am looking forward to all that franchise will do under his leadership.
Hudson's departure is also eye-opening. Hudson previously left BioWare years ago, but re-joined to help reform the studio. BioWare was previously a studio endemic with depression, mismanagement, and so much stress that employees had breakdowns. Hudson was tasked with righting BioWare's sinking ship. Whether or not that happened remains to be seen.
Hudson says he's leaving BioWare to "try something different." Gary McKay, senior director of development operations, will lead BioWare in Hudson's absence.
Here's a list of the major BioWare departures over recent years:
Noteworthy BioWare Departures
- Drew Karpyshyn, lead writer on Mass Effect and Anthem, left in 2012, and then again in 2018
- David Gaider, lead writer of Dragon Age series, left in 2016
- Chris Schlerf, writer on Mass Effect: Andromeda, left in 2016
- Ian Frazier, Lead Designer of Mass Effect: Andromeda, shifted from BioWare to EA Motive in 2017
- Aaron Flynn, ex-General Manager, left in July 2017, shortly after Mass Effect: Andromeda's launch and after 17 years with BioWare (replaced by Casey Hudson, who previously had left in 2014)
- Mike Laidlaw, ex-Dragon Age creative director, left in October 2017 after 14 years with BioWare
- James Ohlen, lead designer on Baldur's Gate, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age: Origins, leaves BioWare in July 2018 after 22 years
- Ben Irving, lead producer on Anthem, left August 2019 after 8 years with the company
- Fernando Melo, producer on Mass Effect Andromeda, Dragon Age Origins, Dragon Age 2, senior producer on Dragon Age 4, left August 2019 after 12 years with company
- Mark Darrah, executive producer on Dragon Age, Anthem, Mass Effect Andromeda, left BioWare in 2020 after 23 years with the company
- Casey Hudson, general manager, rejoined BioWare in 2017 to lead as GM and left in 2020, spent nearly 20 years with the studio
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