BioWare’s Ben Irving, who worked divisive online shooter/RPG Anthem as Lead Producer, has confirmed that he’s parting ways with the company. He’s been a part of the development studio for eight years.
Announcing his departure on Twitter, Irving said that he’s accepted a new role at a different video game company, though declined to specify exactly where he’s heading – presumably he has to keep a lid on that for now for NDA-related reasons.
After 8 amazing years at BioWare I have made the decision to move on and have accepted an exciting opportunity at another gaming company. Since the first time I played Baldurs Gate many many years ago, BioWare was the dream place I always wanted to work.
Anthem hasn’t exactly been BioWare’s best received game, to put it mildly. A troubled launch, frequent bugs, and a middling critical response all contributed to a dwindling playerbase which BioWare has been struggling to win back since the game released in February this year.
Rather than leave the company on a bum note, Irving said he does believe that Anthem has potential, and believes his colleagues at BioWare can steer the game to the bright future it deserves, writing; “I believe Anthem has a bright future – there is a great team working on it and I look forward to following its progress (and playing it!) from the sidelines.”
Irving concluded he’s genuinely enjoyed his time working with the Anthem community, and believes that the game remains in safe hands with Global Community Leads Jesse Anderson and Andrew Johnson, who will continue to support the game and community going forward.
BioWare finally launched the Cataclysm event earlier this month after long delays to more muted responses. While it certainly hasn’t gone down badly, it’s not exactly been the shot in the arm that Anthem so badly needs.
While I’d like to think that Irving’s departure isn’t yet another bump in the road for Anthem, the fact that one of the guys in charge of development is leaving at a time when its crucial things turn around for the game soon isn’t the best sign.
EA has stated multiple times that they’re committed to supporting Anthem post-launch as planned, but it’s likely that the publisher’s support – and patience – has its limits.
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