It looks like BioWare Montreal has reached the end of the line, after the troubled development and release of Mass Effect Andromeda, which had already led to the studio being downsized. In a recent earnings call, not only was the game sidelined, mentioned a total of three times when other series were brought up dozens of times, CFO Blake Jorgensen confirmed that BioWare Montreal would be merged into Motive Studios.
Motive Studios was founded in 2015 around Jade Raymond, formerly of Ubisoft where she was producer on the first two Assassin’s Creed games, Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Motive has slowly been building since then, currently as part of the multi-studio team working on Star Wars Battlefront II alongside DICE and Criterion Games, and on the still unnamed Star Wars title that Visceral Games are working on.
However, this next step seems to indicate that Motive are gearing up to go it alone, with a new Montreal office to house the combined studio, not to mention that there are over 100 new employees in the team.
CFO Blake Jorgensen said, “We’re building out a new studio in Montreal, 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.”
This likely means that post-release support for Mass Effect Andromeda will tail off, though it should be noted that despite the tumult surrounding its release, the team had continued to patch and fix many of the issues that the game had at launch. The most recent patch came just this week, rounding off rough edges in the game’s multiplayer.