BioWare Montreal, the development team behind Mass Effect: Andromeda, is merging with Motive Studios.
The news was circulating for the past few days that Electronic Arts, the parent company of both studios, would go forward with a merger. Previous reports noted a statement made by CFO Blake Jorgensen during the quarterly EA conference call (transcript here), where he stated that the BioWare Montreal team and the EA Motive team are now in the same studio together.
"We're building out a new studio in Montreal, as we've told everyone. 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. I was in that studio last month. And it's a wonderful new addition to our team. And we brought our BioWare Montreal team into that same facility. So they now all sit in one new studio together," stated Jorgensen.An official EA spokesperson informed us that the statement is indeed true, and the two teams will be merging.
"The teams in EA Worldwide Studios are packed with talent, and more than ever, we’re driving collaboration between studios on key projects. 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."The news of the merger was previously hinted at from several other stories breaking over the past few months, including rumors that BioWare Montreal was "scaled down" after the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda. The game, which according to CEO Andrew Wilson "was a significant contributor" to third quarter sales, received mixed reviews from critics, with most of them heavily criticizing the game's poor facial animations and graphical glitches. The rumors also noted that possible single-player DLC would be shelved for the game, which would instead only focus on multiplayer content at this time.
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 returning to lead the studios in Edmonton and Austin.”
The official word of the merger between BioWare Montreal and Motive Studios may be another piece of evidence giving credence to that rumor, although BioWare has continued to patch Mass Effect: Andromeda since the release of the game. The most recent patch, which focuses on mostly multiplayer tweaks, was released today.
BioWare as a division of EA still has two major studios working on projects. BioWare Austin is headlining the ongoing support for the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, while BioWare Edmonton recently revealed their newest I.P, Anthem at E3 this year. Edmonton is also working on another title, which many speculate to be the next installment of the Dragon Age franchise. Recently, Casey Hudson returned to lead the studio as Aaron Flynn left.
Motive Studios is currently headed by Jade Raymond, who has been working on an unannounced Star Wars project for the past two years. The game, which has no official title, is described as a "Star Wars in the style of Uncharted." Motive also has been working with DICE and Criterion on the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront II.
What are your thoughts on all of this? Surprised by the merger at all? Leave your comments below.