Mass Effect trilogy director Casey Hudson returns to BioWare

The original three Mass Effect games are among the best role-playing experiences we’ve ever had, and creative director Casey Hudson played a huge role in their success. In 2014, Hudson left developer BioWare and eventually took a position at Microsoft, but he has now returned to the studio as its new general manager.

“The last few years have been transformative for me, from having time to reflect on what I most want to do, to working with new technologies at platform scale,” said Hudson in a blog post on BioWare’s website. “And now, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to return to lead BioWare — a studio that I think of as home.”

The announcement comes as current general manager Aaryn Flynn revealed that he would be leaving BioWare. The two apparently reached a mutual decision, as Flynn said he was already “contemplating changes.”

“I will be working with [Hudson] over the next couple of weeks to help catch him up and do my part to set him up for success [and] to be the best general manager he can be,” added Flynn in his own post. He had been an employee at BioWare for the last 17 years.

Though Hudson’s return will hopefully offer some much-needed creative guidance to BioWare’s teams, his work won’t be limited to the Mass Effect franchise — in fact, it could not involve it at all. BioWare’s other projects include continued development of Dragon Age titles as well as the open-world online science-fiction game Anthem, which looks like it’s ready to go head-to-head with Bungie and Activision’s Destiny. Other employees are assisting with Electronic Arts’ various Star Wars projects.

Following Hudson’s departure from BioWare a few years ago, development of Mass Effect: Andromeda ran into several issues, including a scrapped plan for procedurally generated planets. Mass Effect 3 lead writer Mac Walters was eventually named creative director, and the game ultimately released in March to disappointing reviews. Many of the complaints centered around the game’s inconsistent dialogue, convoluted menus, and poor facial animations. The game was developed at BioWare Montreal instead of the Edmonton studio, which had been in charge of the original trilogy.

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