'Future of BioWare is actually in their hands': Edmonton-based video game developer sees change in leadership0
Article content continued
Amid the transition, BioWare announced new instalments of its flagship games — Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Some of the company’s most recent games have been heavily criticized, most notably the role-playing action game Anthem, which released last year. Metacritic, a website that provides an overall score based on multiple reviews, gave the third-person shooter a mixed or average score while user reviews were generally unfavourable.
Ryan said there’s an eternal struggle between larger publishers and smaller development studios when creating a game but EA strives to create a space where people can do their best work. She said the company gives developers opportunities to come up with ideas and mentioned the new Mass Effect game was brought to them by BioWare.
“They gave me the pitch for what they wanted the next Mass Effect to be and it’s great,” Ryan said. “I don’t have any issues with it and in fact, we just presented that a couple of months ago to EA leadership. The entire pitch came bottom up from the team. My goal is to ask questions to ensure that they are thinking about players, they are thinking about the marketplace, they’re thinking about competitors and making sure they really understand what players want.”
Last year, BioWare upgraded to a massive75,000-square-foot office in Epcor Tower for its roughly 300 employees but the space has remained empty after EA temporarily closed its studios following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Ryan said she looks forward to revisiting Edmonton soon, adding the city has world-class bakeries.
“I must visit 50 cities a year and Edmonton and Seattle are my top two cities for bakeries for some strange reason,” she said.