BioWare Will Be Hiring For Remote Positions, Offering Permanent Work-From-Home Option
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition feedback was "insanely positive"; no substantial news on future games.
BioWare General Manager Gary McKay wrote a letter this week about the "State of BioWare and Looking Ahead," which contains considerably more about the past than it does any tangible details about the future. McKay touched upon all the expected points regarding how difficult a year 2021 was -- the pandemic, adapting to working from home, the ice storms in Austin (more on that in a bit) -- while also lauding his team for the good work they did throughout the year.
The highlight was Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, which came out in May and he said received "insanely positive" feedback all around. He quoted an article from GameSpot, which heralded the LE as a "gargantuan reminder of just how good developer BioWare is when it’s firing on all cylinders." Those reminders have been few and far between, with games like Anthem and Mass Effect: Andromeda making headlines in recent years, and not for good reasons.
The most surprising thing McKay revealed about the company's future plans is its new flexibility in terms of employment. Working from home will become a permanent option, and the Austin- and Edmonton-based studio will expand its hiring pool to include people who don't want to relocate to either of those two cities.
As for the games themselves, there's nothing new to report there. The next Star Wars: The Old Republic update, Legacy of the Sith, will come out in February, as we knew, and the company remains "hard at work on the next iterations of Dragon Age and Mass Effect." In other words, apart from the announcement of its new employment policies, there's not much of substance in McKay's letter.
On a final point regarding the February ice storms that crippled much of Texas, McKay said it was "encouraging and inspiring to hear how people were going above and beyond to ensure others were safe, including finding shelter or delivering food and water." Maybe it's just me, but if I was one of those employees who was having trouble finding those basic necessities -- as many other game developers were -- I would rather leadership condemn that it had to come to that point, politics be damned, rather than try and use it as a rallying point. Doing so makes it sound like one of those "success" stories of a child selling $1,000 worth of lemonade so his family doesn't get evicted or a GoFundMe that pays for someone's life-saving operation.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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