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.