BioWare No Longer Requiring Developers to Relocate to its Offices

The studio will now hire anyone living in North America following success with working from home.

As the world continues to try and find some semblance of normalcy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mass Effect and Dragon Age developer BioWare is making a fundamental change to its workplace: it will no longer require employees to relocate to one of its offices in Edmonton and Austin.

News of this came from a post on the studio’s blog, in which Studio General Manager Gary McKay confirmed the studio will now hire people anywhere in North America and allow them to work remotely. This comes as part of a company initiative to let developers continue working from home while allowing those who wish to return to the office with flexibility to do so.

“The pandemic has also taught us a lot about how we can work together, even while working across North America from hundreds of different locations. And now, we’ll use what we’ve learned and apply it to a new work model that will ensure flexibility for everyone in the studio,” McKay writes. “Our goal is to lean into the things that everyone likes about working from home, while also giving people the opportunity to return to the office with more flexibility. Going forward, we’ll have new challenges with a hybrid approach to work and are focused on new tech that will help maximize collaboration and communication between onsite and remote people. Another subtle but important change we’ve made is in our hiring practices: Previously, we were only looking for people willing to relocate to Austin and Edmonton; now we’re looking for new talent from anywhere in North America and we’ll meet them where they live.”

McKay goes on to talk about the success of the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition remasters, touch on the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s upcoming Legacy of the Sith expansion, and reaffirm the studio is working on the next Mass Effect and Dragon Age games. Though we’ve yet to see either game in motion, the fourth Dragon Age game seems further along than the new Mass Effect, which was officially announced in 2020. The studio has stated it plans to show more Dragon Age sometime this year.

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As he wraps up, McKay says he hopes that BioWare can regain the trust of fans following the past few years. This has included the less-than-stellar launch and subsequent cancellation of Anthem’s reboot, and the middling reception of Mass Effect: Andromeda. He goes on to cite Legendary Edition as a reminder of BioWare’s history, one that he’s hopeful they can reclaim after previous blunders.

“When I took on the GM role, I talked about rebuilding our reputation, and that remains a huge priority,” McKay says. “We are laser-focused on building back the trust of our fans and community, and we plan to do that by delivering the types of games that we are best known for and ensuring they are of the highest quality. Our mission is to “Create worlds of adventure, conflict, and companionship that inspire you to become the hero of your story.” We want the launch of our games to be seminal moments in the industry. We want each game to earn the kind of reaction we’ve seen with Mass Effect Legendary Edition. We feel that we have the right people, the right creative focus, and the support from EA to deliver on the promise.”

For more on BioWare, check out the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition content we wrote over the past year. There’s a lot of it!