BioWare Montreal has had a tough go of it this year. After Mass Effect: Andromeda released to poor reviews from fans and critics alike, Electronic Arts put future work from the studio on hold and returned it to “support studio” status. Now, it seems the last nail is slamming into the coffin, and the studio is being entirely subsumed by EA Motive, co-developer Star Wars Battlefront II and the new Star Wars-related IP Jade Raymond is working on.
“We’re building a new studio in Montreal, as we’ve told everyone,” said EA CFO Blake Jorgensen in a recent financial call. “And we’ve hired over 100 people into that studio that are brand new to EA. This is to build the new IP around Jade Raymond’s team that she’s been building… and we brought our BioWare Montreal team into that same facility, so now they all sit in one new studio together.”
EA confirmed to TechRaptor that BioWare Montreal is indeed merging into EA Motive.
“With multiple major projects in development in Montreal, we are merging BioWare Montreal with Motive Studios. This is an ongoing process, but there are many exciting roles and opportunities for everyone on the team,” reads the statement from EA. “BioWare continues its work on new titles – including the highly-anticipated game Anthem. What’s coming next for BioWare is very exciting and we’re thrilled to have Casey Hudson to lead the studios in Edmonton and Austin.”
BioWare’s home base is in Edmonton, Alberta, and that’s where it typically leads products out of. Mass Effect: Andromeda was BioWare Montreal’s first big, lead project. With the disappointing performance and critical heat coming from press and fans alike, there was likely a lot of pressure to show investors that the mistake wouldn’t be repeated. With so many studios in Montreal, pouring the creative staff into another studio makes sense, and is better than closing the studio altogether.
Star Wars Battlefront II releases on November 17 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, while Jade Raymond’s project is currently without a release window.