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.

In other news

Ubisoft CEO Plans to Establish Multidisciplinary Group in Wake of Allegations

The group will determine ways to better detect and resolve incidents within Ubisoft.

The Last of Us Part 2 Has a Strange Reference to the Greatest Chess Game Ever Played

This is the second Bobby Fischer reference in as many games.

Need help?

GTA 5 Cheats

Discover all the GTA 5 cheats with this handy GTA V cheats PS4, GTA 5 cheats Xbox One, and PC guide for free GTA money and more. Plus get all the Grand Theft Auto 5 cheats for Xbox 360 and PS3.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Best Mods That You Should Download Now

RDR2 just released for PC players and that means more and more mods are coming in every day. Here are the best mods available right now for Red Dead Redemption 2.

10 GTA 5 Secrets That You Won't Believe

GTA 5 is a massive game, filled with brilliant secrets and Easter eggs. We've rounded up the 10 most amazing GTA 5 secrets.