This week Chris Wynn, Sr. Development Director at Bioware Montreal, stated that he was parting ways with the Canadian mega studio.
This leaves fans of Mass Effect in a tizzy. Being that Wynn was brought on by the Montreal studio to assist in the development of the upcoming successor to the Mass Effect trilogy, it’s future was immediately questioned when the news broke out all over the internet like the announcement of a Kanye baby.
It is with a heavy heart today to say that I am moving on from BioWare and Mass Effect: Andromeda, and returning to the USA.
— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) December 22, 2015
Wynn has a hefty background. Coming from Electronic Arts, Hansoft, Microsoft, Epic Games, and landing in Bioware in 2013.
“The Andromeda team is the most talented team that I have ever worked with, truly inspiring to have worked with you each and every day,” said Wynn.
After the news broke, a spokesperson for Bioware stated that “Andromeda development is still moving ahead at full speed.” Merely placating the shaken fans? Or perhaps it’s truth. I can’t picture losing a major director and still keeping momentum up without a hitch. There’s some speculation that the split wasn’t Wynn’s decision, but I won’t make guesses on the incentives behind his departure. I wish him the best in his next adventure.
“It won’t be long before I talk about what’s next.” – Wynn
On the flip side of the equation Bioware has been incredibly tight-lipped about the progress, or plans for Andromeda—the first Mass Effect game without protagonist Sheppard—since it was announced in 2014. And the departure of a key lead has me leaning towards the potential of it either lacking something MassEffect-y (yup, I said it), or it’s headed towards the desolate land of major delays.
Given that Bioware has previously mentioned that Mass Effect: Andromeda was set to release sometime late in THIS YEAR, and we’ve still been shown almost nothing from the game, or heard anything (aside from this) about it’s development, nothing it pointing to the positive. Here’s to hoping it’s simply a delay.
I’ll sadly predict that should we exit this spring’s E3 without a full reveal of Andromeda, the game will be delayed. Possibly inevitably. *crosses fingers* I hope I’m wrong.
Andromeda (as mentioned before) is the first game in the series that won’t feature the well-known leader of the rebellious group aboard the Normandy; Commander/Spectre Shepard. After three majorly successful titles, the finale of the trilogy saw to it that the franchise would have to continue without the leader. It made an impact on all Mass Effect fans. Most players have been playing the “same” Shepard for years, as the ME series was one of the first to allow you to import all your decisions and character from the previous game(s). Andromeda being Shepard-less may be a factor in the secrecy. It could be Bioware is just being cautious about where they go from here.
This whole situation raises another question though: Are we importing too much talent? Not to say that Wynn wouldn’t have left had he been Canadian. But now our country as a whole is short one top-tier talent, specifically one that has been making an impact at a large AAA Canadian studio. So what are your thoughts on some of the biggest developers in Canada importing high-profile leads who may, or may not, stay in Canada? Does this help or hinder our industry?