Mass Effect 4 fans are worried by BioWare layoffs

Mass Effect 4 fans are worried by BioWare layoffs
Images via BioWare

Written by 

Tom Chapman


24th Aug 2023 11:51

Gamers are worried that the future of the Mass Effect franchise could be marooned out in deep space, as a number of layoffs at BioWare have critics fearing the worst. Following the disappointment of Mass Effect: Andromeda, there's a lot riding on the fourth numbered entry in the series, but is it in trouble?

The good news is that BioWare is still at the helm of Mass Effect, meaning the OG developer is sticking with saving the galaxy. This is something of a double-edged sword, as while BioWare remains committed to Mass Effect, a series of layoffs have players concerned that it'll ultimately affect the franchise's long-awaited return.

BioWare hit with around 50 layoffs

It's been six years since Andromeda left us wanting more, and thankfully, N7 Day 2020 heralded the announcement of Mass Effect 4 (or whatever we're supposed to call it). Things have gone quiet, and with the focus being shifted to Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, Mass Effect 4 was already a glint on the horizon.

In a blog post, BioWare General Manager Gary McKay said that the layoffs of around 50 staff at the developer were "not only necessary, but unavoidable." It apparently comes amidst a reshuffle from owners Electronic Arts, but should "meet the needs of our upcoming projects."

As you can imagine, the news hasn't gone down well with fans. With Mass Effect still only being in pre-production and concerns it only had a skeleton crew overseeing it for now, the loss of any jobs at BioWare could trigger alarm bells.

Responding on Twitter, one worried gamer wrote, "BioWare just laid off nearly all it’s senior staff AND WRITERS. Dragon Age 4 and Mass Effect 4 will have lost a huge part of its soul. Ridiculous they would let go these talented people."

Another added, "They're doing the restructuring thing? That's not a good sign. I'm guessing Mass Effect 4 and Dragon Age 4 are their last chances before ending up as either support devs or completely shut down like Visceral Games."

According to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, it's part of widespread layoffs at EA, with him speculating that all studios will have been told to slash staff. Still, BioWare promises to "shift towards a more agile and more focused studio." 

BioWare assures us Mass Effect 4 will be fine

Mass Effect helmet
Click to enlarge

Jumping on the damage control bandwagon, McKay tried to dispel some concerns. "If you’re wondering how all of this will impact development of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, let me be clear that our dedication to the game has never wavered," he explained. 

"Our commitment remains steadfast, and we all are working to make this game worthy of the Dragon Age name. We are confident that we’ll have the time needed to ensure Dreadwolf reaches its full potential."

The same presumably goes for Mass Effect 4, but it's not enough for some. This news comes in the wake of parts of Star Wars: The Old Republic being transferred to Broadsword Online Games

These are uncertain times for BioWare, and while it's all hands on deck to stop Dreadwolf from going under, Mass Effect 4 is still lost in limbo as the wolves gather at the door. Where's Commander Shepherd when you need them?

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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