While hardly a shock at this point, it's now official – BioWare Montreal, the studio behind the beleaguered Mass Effect: Andromeda, is no more. The studio has been dissolved, with most of its employees joining Motive, the new Jade Raymond-led studio developing the single-player campaign for Star Wars: Battlefront II. EA is terming this a "merger," but only the Motive name continues on and all the BioWare Montreal folks are moving into Motive's space – let's be real, this is an absorption.
Mass Effect: Andromeda was criticized at launch for a laundry list of technical and creative shortcomings, and has gone on to be a sales disappointment. Back in May, an inside report stated the entire Mass Effect franchise has been chucked in the deep freeze for the time being, with no new game currently in development, and BioWare Montreal had been demoted to "support studio" status. Apparently, they've now been further demoted to "nonexistent" status.
Here's what an EA spokesperson had to say about their studio shakeup:
"The teams in EA Worldwide Studios are packed with talent, and more than ever, we're driving collaboration between studios on key projects. 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. BioWare continues its work on new titles – including the highly-anticipated game, Anthem."
It's unknown what the death of BioWare Montreal means for the future of Mass Effect: Andromeda. The game's single-player DLC has already been cancelled, but what about further patches? The game isn't as rough as it once was, but it could still use more work. Unfortunately, it seems like that work may be rapidly coming to an end.