BioWare Admits Toxic Workplace Problems "Are Real" Following Damning Anthem Development Report

BioWare Admits Toxic Workplace Problems "Are Real" Following Damning Anthem Development Report

After days of silence, BioWare admits to problems at its studio to employees.

BioWare came under scrutiny earlier this week after a report detailed the troubled development of Anthem, the studio's most recent video game release. There were damning details about how BioWare developers were overworked to the point of depression. Now, a new internal memo sent to BioWare employees reveals that the studio bosses recognize these problems as real.

Following the Kotaku report on Anthem's development, BioWare issued a statement vaguely addressing the issues detailed by the report. This includes mention of something called "BioWare Magic" where a video game development project is expected to fully come together in the last months of development. This usually also comes at a cost to developers' mental and physical health.

The statement was criticized for not addressing the issues directly. But late Wednesday BioWare general manager Casey Hudson sent a new note to employees calling the workplace problems at the studio "real" and BioWare's "top priority" is to continue to solve them.

"The article mentions many of the problems in the development of Anthem and some of our previous projects. And it draws a link between those issues and the quality of our workplace and well-being of our staff. These problems are real and it's our top priority to continue working to solve them."

Later in the statement Hudson addresses how BioWare intends to combat some of these problems. "We are defining better role clarity so that people can succeed better against clear expectations and we are putting place production changes that will provide for clearer project vision as well as significant post-production period that will further relieve pressure and anxiety on teams during development."

Hudson says there is still more work to be done on this front and that the studio will discuss it further at an all-hands planned for next week. You can read the full statement at Kotaku.

BioWare released Anthem to middling reviews. Players and critics didn't find BioWare's online loot shooter compelling enough as an online experience, and popular features like flight were only late additions to the game, made to impress an ex-EA executive.

The live service model could set the stage for a comeback for Anthem like the first Destiny, but that remains to be seen. Check out our Anthem guide for more of our coverage.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Read this next

Anthem's Lead Producer Departs BioWare

The producer is moving on, just after the launch of Cataclysm.

Anthem's Cataclysm Update Just Stealth Launched

Anthem players got a surprise this morning.

The Developers Who Never Gave Up

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Stories of ongoing or aspiring success from studios big and small that had rough starts on games such as Fallout 76, No Man's Sky, and Anthem.

After a Rough Fiscal 2019, EA Executives Give Up Their Bonuses

After struggling with Anthem and Apex Legends, EA's top execs lose their bonuses.

Anthem's Cataclysm is a Storm of Negative Opinions During Testing

Anthem still has problems and the long-awaited Cataclysm doesn't seem to be fixing them.

BioWare Reveals Highly Anticipated Score-Based Cataclysm Event

The eight-week event brings some welcome loot changes as well.

More News

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Ban Sets Off Massive Debate

Dragon Quest's Hero is a random character... possibly too random.

Halo Infinite's Creative Director Leaves 343 Industries

This week sees a leadership shake-up for Microsoft's big launch title.

"Stop Asking 'Is It Political?' and Start Asking Instead About the Actual Politics of Each Game"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Also, the things studios of all sizes do to survive, and what happens when that's not enough.

More on PC

What's The Best Video Game Spaceship?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | In honor of No Man's Sky Beyond, let's look back on the coolest spaceships around.

Halo Infinite's Creative Director Leaves 343 Industries

This week sees a leadership shake-up for Microsoft's big launch title.

"Stop Asking 'Is It Political?' and Start Asking Instead About the Actual Politics of Each Game"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Also, the things studios of all sizes do to survive, and what happens when that's not enough.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is Axing the Damage Stacking

No more stacking up those auras.

Epic Isn't Budging On Fortnite's Mechs, Despite Player Protests

The massive machines of destruction seem like they're here to stay.

No Man’s Sky Base Building (Beyond Update 2019)

Everything you need to know about Base Building in No Man’s Sky.

More Action Adventure Games

Fire Emblem Three Houses Recruitment Students - All Recruiting Requirements for Students and Teachers

Here's our guide covering Fire Emblem Three Houses recruitment, including recruiting students, teachers, and more.

Fire Emblem Three Houses Romance Options - How to Romance Edelgard and Other Characters

This is our guide covering Fire Emblem Three Houses romance options, detailing how to romance Edelgard, and more.

Fire Emblem Three Houses Tea Guide - Get a Perfect Tea Party With Edelgard, Dorothea, and More Characters

Here's our complete Fire Emblem Three Houses tea guide, walking you through how to hold the perfect tea party in Three Houses.

Fire Emblem Three Houses Edelgard - The Fourth Edelgard Route Explained

In this guide covering the Fire Emblem Three Houses Edelgard route, we'll be explaining how to side with Edelgard for the fourth story route.