Bioware Montreal to be absorbed by EA Motive

Mass Effect Andromeda development team to be put on different projects as franchise is put on hold.

When it released in March, Mass Effect Andromeda was ridiculed by fans and critics alike for its clunky narrative, repetitive design and unpolished gameplay. After initial sales of the game were lackluster, publisher EA began to aggressively push Andromeda at deep discounts. As a result, EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen noted that the publisher was up $113 million from their quarter sales for the same time last year.

“…The increase reflects strength in live services, together with our mobile business,” Jorgensen said. “In addition, Mass Effect Andromeda was a significant contributor. Full game PC and console downloads generated net sales of $111 million, 32% higher than last year. This was driven by Mass Effect Andromeda sales captured in the quarter.”

Still, booming sales aren’t enough to keep Bioware Montreal afloat. As reported by Eurogamer, EA is shuttering the studio and moving employees into new roles at EA Motive, which is also based in Montreal. The dissolving of Bioware Montreal gives credence to reports earlier this summer that all singleplayer DLC for Andromeda has been cancelled.

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Currently, EA Motive is wrapping up work on Star Wars Battlefront II’s singleplayer component and another unnamed, Uncharted-inspired Star Wars project lead by Jade Raymond. With EA Motive and Bioware Montreal both being heavily involved in narrative-driven experiences, it seems the two teams will mesh well.

It isn’t clear if everyone working at Bioware Montreal will land a job at EA Motive, but an EA spokesperson seemed to imply that there wouldn’t be any lay-offs for the Andromeda team, telling Tech Raptor, “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.”

What do you think about EA merging EA Motive and Bioware Montreal? Do you think putting the Mass Effect series on ice was the right call, or are you excited for the projects coming out of EA Motive in the coming years? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter.

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