Dragon Age And Mass Effect Studio Lays Off 50 Devs, Claims Games Are Unaffected [Update]…
BioWare announced on August 23 that it wouldn’t be showing off any updates for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and the upcoming Mass Effect game at EA Play Live, much to the disappointment of fans waiting for a glimpse at the latest entries in the beloved RPG franchises. Alongside that came the announcement that the company will restructure itself in order to meet the needs of its upcoming titles, and fans quickly went from disappointed to concerned that this restructuring, which laid off 50 BioWare developers (including some who had been with the company since 2003’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic), would affect the development of both games.
Although BioWare general manager Gary McKay wrote that the layoffs won’t affect the development of the aforementioned titles and were necessary to create “exceptional story-driven single-player experiences” in a blog post, fans were more troubled than comforted by his words. A large part of that concern stems from the fact that Dragon Age: Dreadwolf’s development has already dealt with delays and high profile departures, while the upcoming Mass Effect is still only in early development. To make matters worse, these firings come following a wave of layoffs back in June 2022, when BioWare outsourced the development of its Star Wars MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic to Broadsword studio.
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So, the August 23 news gave Mass Effect and Dragon Age fans quite a bit to worry about, which led them to voice their ongoing concerns on social media.
“I’ve been a pretty strong proponent of ‘let’s all stay calm, it’s alright, let’s not jump to doom’ for a lot of BioWare-related negative news over these past years. But this…Whatever it means, whatever it may or may not end up affecting with game development, at the end of the day this is deeply saddening,” Rather_curious_lass wrote in a reply to the news that Dragon Age writer Mary Kelly had been laid off on the r/dragonage subreddit. “On a personal level, it’s just really damn disheartening to see such talent and passion that helped make me and many others fall in love with the world, get fucking laid off.”
“Honestly, not sure what to make of it all. I was content to let them (BioWare) cook. But getting rid of senior staff with nothing said to suggest a release any time soon maybe it is an utter disaster,” Turinsday wrote in a separate r/dragonage thread. “Even if writing was done for Dreadwolf, you’d think someone of Kirby’s stature would be working on DLC or hopping over to Mass Effect, future DA concepts, etc. A Sad day.”
“Fifty people losing their jobs [and] no dates set for DA4, I hate to say it but I’m completely losing faith in BioWare and I feel like we’re never actually going to see this game or the next Mass Effect,” ShutUrBigBazoo wrote on Twitter. “You don’t let people go with big-name games in production.”
“That is not good news,” Indy_Power replied on Twitter. “You can spin it as restructuring, or meeting budget needs. We’ve seen layoffs within the gaming industry and how it has later led to studio closures. Nobody downsizes when they have two big projects.”
“Tell Gary McKay that Dragon Age and Mass Effect shouldn’t be named as such going forward if you are laying off the great individuals who helped put them together. You laid off the woman who wrote the damn Chant for crying out loud,” MrEverything__said on Twitter. “Wake up BioWare. This is disgraceful.”
Mass Effect and Dragon Age are both massive IPs with legions of dedicated fans—their sequels are almost guaranteed to earn BioWare tons of cash, so layoffs naturally raise eyebrows. Time will tell whether the “restructuring” will actually yield the results McKay claims it will or if it’ll be remembered as yet another string of unnecessary layoffs from a beloved video game studio. Neither sequel has a release date or window just yet.
Call of Duty’s collaborations this year have cast a wide net, ranging from putting rapper Nicki Minaj in as a playable character to adding cosmetics that are based on the Diablo series. Next month, the series is leaning into all things spooky and hellish, and that includes a tribute to Doom, the landmark 1993 first-person shooter. The Doom bundle, available on October 9 for Warzone and Modern Warfare II, includes a shotgun and chainsaw stylized to look like they did in the original game, and the visual effect is pretty cool.
If you equip the gun or melee weapon, your character wields it like the space marine hero of the original game did, complete with a lower framerate that looks pretty distinct compared to the rest of Warzone. It’s nostalgic for fans of the original Doom, but it doesn’t seem to actually get in the way of the functionality of the shotgun or chainsaw, even when the game runs at 60FPS. Your character’s animations stutter a little bit when using either weapon, but it’s a pretty faithful recreation of how Doom looked 30 years ago. It rules.
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The weapons are definitely the standout, but the Doom bundle comes with a few other homages to the series, as well. The full bundle includes the following:
- DOOM Weapon Charm
- Cacodemon & Slayer Stickers
- DOOM Loading Screen
- Super Shotgun Weapon Blueprint
- Chainsaw Melee Blueprint
- Doomguy Gunscreen
Call of Duty isn’t the only game paying tribute to the original Doom these days. Cyberpunk 2077 added a mini-game in the Phantom Liberty expansion based on shooters of the time starring Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Silverhand. Even with so many games paying tribute to the 1993 classic, it’s always a good idea to revisit the OG whenever you can, as it’s pretty foundational to the first-person shooter genre. If you do decide to play it, though, maybe play it on something simple like a PC or console, rather than one of the weirder devices people have ported the game to over the years. Like a tractor or potato-powered calculator.