Casey Hudson, the former game director on Mass Effect 3 and a resident member of BioWare who left the company three years ago, has returned. He hasn’t just returned to BioWare, he’s now leading the company as the general manager after Aaryn Flynn surprisingly stepped down from his role.
In a blog post, Flynn explained that after 17 years he has been “contemplating changes” in his life and that when he found out that Hudson was once again interested in taking over his duties at BioWare, Flynn obliged…
“I have been contemplating changes in my own life for some time, but when I heard that Casey had confirmed he was up for the task, I realized the opportunities before us. I will be working with him over the next couple of weeks to help catch him up and do my part to set him up for success to be the best GM he can be.”
Hudson left BioWare shortly after the fallout from the Mass Effect 3 ending, something that was covered extensively by KnowYourMeme.
As the game’s director and front-man for PR, Hudson took the full force of the player blowback from the ending debacle, defending the game at every turn until he and the rest of BioWare, eventually conceded that the ending was not sufficient and that an extended ending DLC would be released to further explain what happened.
Fans still weren’t pleased.
Back in 2014 Hudson departed from BioWare as work escalated on Mass Effect: Andromeda. For anyone who hasn’t been keeping track of the news, Mass Effect: Andromeda was a critical failure as far as quality standards were concerned, given that it was technically and thematically inferior to the original Mass Effect trilogy in just about every way but the third-person combat.
The development was mired in controversy even before gamers land their hands on a controller. Aaryn Flynn was at the center of one particular polemic fallout involving former BioWare game designer, Manveer Heir, who made a string of racist comments leading up to the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Heir claimed that Aaryn Flynn, BioWare’s then general manager, supported him in his racist views.
This had people calling for the jobs of both Flynn and Heir. Just after Mass Effect: Andromeda went gold, Manveer Heir departed ways from BioWare.
At the moment there are no plans so far for any follow-up sequels or DLC for Mass Effect: Andromeda, with EA leaving the series out to dry.
Hudson, however, will be in charge of running the company as they attempt to rebound from the tarnishing they suffered at the hands of the BioWare Montreal studio. A lot of gamers were displeased with the public support of SJWism from the BioWare staff working on Andromeda, and were even further displeased when they found those Social Justice Warrior talking points front and center throughout the gameplay experience.
EA will be keeping a close eye on BioWare from now on, according to CEO Andrew Wilson. With Hudson back in the loop, he’ll now be charged with ensuring that the studio produces Anthem to EA’s liking. It’s possible that his three year sabbatical from BioWare was part of taking the brunt of the fallout from the Mass Effect 3 controversy, and now he’s partially back in the good graces of the company as he attempts to right the ship and potentially steer them back towards being a successful company again.
However, it will take a lot of effort and time to win back the trust of dedicated gamers who currently see Hudson as the man who tarnished Mass Effect, and as BioWare Montreal as the studio who killed it.