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Mass Effect and Dragon Age leads leave BioWare

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Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah announce their retirements

Teaser artwork for the next Mass Effect Image: BioWare/Electronic Arts

BioWare general manager Casey Hudson and Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah are leaving the studio. Laura Miele, chief studios officer at Electronic Arts, announced the departures on the BioWare blog, alongside personal messages from Hudson and Darrah.

Hudson said in his note that after nearly 20 years with BioWare, he has “made the decision to retire from the studio and make way for the next generation of studio leaders.”

“When I became Studio GM a little over three years ago, our goal as a leadership team was to position our people and projects for long-term success,” Hudson said. “Now, as BioWare celebrates its 25th anniversary, the studio is poised for an exciting new era of amazing games. This year we’ve been inspired by the continued community support for our ongoing work on Star Wars: The Old Republic and Anthem. A few months ago we provided a deeper look at the work that’s going into the next huge Dragon Age game. And on N7 Day we announced Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition and gave a hint at what’s coming next in the Mass Effect universe. It’s an exciting time, both in terms of projects you’ve heard about, and some things not yet announced.

“Arriving at this point has been an opportunity for me to reflect on my own future, and 2020 has been a year that forced all of us to re-imagine how we think about work and life. For me, it’s been the realization that I still have tremendous energy to create, but also that I need to try something different. I’m not sure exactly what that is yet, but I know that I want to start by rediscovering my creative passion through more personal work.”

Darrah will be replaced by BioWare Austin studio director Christian Dailey as executive director on Dragon Age, Miele said. Like Hudson, Darrah called his departure from BioWare a retirement from the studio.

“This has been a very difficult decision for me,” Darrah said. “The team of amazing developers on Dragon Age, make my life fuller and better. They have taught me so much. But the strength of the team is also what makes this possible. I know that Dragon Age won’t just survive without me, it will thrive.”

Hudson’s first credit at BioWare came as a designer and artist on MDK 2, released in 2000. He left BioWare in 2014, and joined Microsoft the following year. Hudson rejoined BioWare in 2017, replacing the departing GM Aaron Flynn.

Darrah joined BioWare in 1997, and originally worked as a programmer, according to his LinkedIn profile.

BioWare recently announced Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition, a collection of the first three core Mass Effect games, and revealed early artwork for the next Mass Effect title. The developer also showed off early development of a new Dragon Age game this summer.