For the third time, in nearly as many months, Mass Effect developer BioWare has seen yet another member of its team exit the project. The game’s senior editor, Cameron Harris, announced her departure via Twitter, saying she’s leaving BioWare and the industry.
I've decided to exit the video-game industry to return to Seattle for new opportunities there. I'll be leaving BioWare in mid-April.
— Cameron Harris (@camharr) March 4, 2016
Last December, Chris Wynn, Andromeda’s senior development director reported his departure. On February 15, Andromeda’s lead writer, Chris Schlerf, announced he was leaving the company to work for Bungie. Perhaps these departures would explain the game’s delay to early 2017.
Perhaps not. While these announcements seem like setbacks, superficially, it would be fair to posit they are not as bad as they appear. Development teams often cut back on staffing as the project moves closer to going gold and hitting release. The title’s lead writer is no longer needed if the narrative is done and the story is set in stone. Considering how confident EA and BioWare were in announcing a holiday 2016 release date in the teaser trailer, the story may be complete.
Also worth consideration is Mass Effect: Andromeda’s launch exclusively on PS4, PC, and Xbox One, which will be the developer’s first time working on next-gen hardware and with Dice’s Frostbite engine. Perhaps the delay is due to technical issues that new hardware and a new engine can create.
These development misfortunes may not be all doom and gloom, but they definitely make gamers anxious as the wait for the highly anticipated title drags on. To ease the blow, listen to Jennifer Hale’s Commander Shephard as she sends us off properly with a hair-tingling recording for posterity that was released on N7 Day 2015.