Brad Irving has announced he is leaving Bioware after eight years at the studio, set to take up a new position at another game developer.
This move came as somewhat of a surprise, with Irving having acted as lead producer on the controversial Anthem, which released to mixed critical reception earlier this year. Given he is essentially the public face of the game, this doesn’t inspire confidence.
“I will forever be grateful to all the people who gave me the chance to work on great products with amazing people. 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 said.
He hasn’t announced where he will be going, or the reasons behind his departure. To be honest, eight years is a long time to spend with any employer, so perhaps Irving is simply after a new challenge.
Although, it’s understandable that this news has left the Anthem community somewhat worried given its tumultuous development cycle and sudden elimination of its post-launch content roadmap shortly after release.
Earlier this month saw the long-awaited release of Anthem’s ‘Cataclysm’ event and reception has been relatively tame. Hardly negative, but it hasn’t set the world on fire in the slightest. It remains unclear whether Bioware can come back from this and foster a truly passionate playerbase.
Following its mixed release, Electronic Arts said it plans to stand by Anthem going forward and will provide it with continous support and updates, although beyond Cataclysm its unclear what this will actually entail. A replacement for Irving as lead producer will presumably be chosen, too.
I scored Anthem 3/5 in my review, underwhelmed by its short length, lacklustre world and genuinely bizarre lack of mechanics compared to other live-service shooters. It simply wasn’t up to scratch and proved frustrating to play. Things have improved since release, but the lack of content makes it difficult to stick with.