Anthem director and chief of staff Jonathan Warner has left BioWare, marking the 9th higher-profile developer to depart the studio in the last 4 years.
Last Friday, Jonathan Warner announced he was leaving BioWare. Warner had been part of BioWare's core teams for nearly a decade, working on games like Anthem and Mass Effect 3. Warner also served as BioWare chief of staff for over 1 year and helped guide the studio during a critical transition point.
On Twitter, Warner says big franchises like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Star Wars are all in safe hands. "So, today is my last day at BioWare, I'm moving on to do new things. BioWare has been home to my grateful heart for nearly 10 years and I want to wish them all the best. DA ME and SWTOR are in good hands and I can't wait to play from this side of the screen," Warner said.
Warner is the latest in a series of departures at BioWare. Nine high-profile developers have left and been shifted to other studios since 2017, including two general managers, Aaryn Flynn (2017) and Casey Hudson (2020), as well as decades-long vets like James Ohlen (2018), Mike Laidlaw (2017), and Mark Darrah (2020).
The reality is game developers shift around all the time in the industry. Warner's departure also comes weeks after EA confirmed Anthem's reboot had been cancelled, and many months after reports of overwork and strife endemic to the studio.
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
- Jonathan Warner, Chief of staff, director on Anthem and producer on Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, Mass Effect trilogy, left BioWare in March 2021 after nearly 10 years with the studio
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