“Since I ain’t gotta go into the office, I’m blasting off to space!”
With the ongoing pandemic continuing to disrupt life as we know it, especially as the omicron variant fuels an increase in confirmed covid infections, developer BioWare plans to embrace a remote work ethos.
In a blog post discussing the state of BioWare, studio general manager Gary McKay said the challenges presented by covid-19 have caused the developer to reconsider what work looks like for its employees. That reconsideration has led BioWare to adopt a hybrid approach to work, meaning the studio will give workers more flexibility with where they live and how often they go into an office.
“Our goal is to lean into the things everyone likes about working from home, while also giving people the opportunity to return to the office with more flexibility,” McKay said. “Going forward, we’ll have new challenges with a hybrid approach to work and are focused on new tech that will help maximize collaboration and communication between onsite and remote people.”
McKay went on to say that BioWare will no longer require employees to relocate to either its Austin or Edmonton locations. Instead, the studio will start “looking for new talent from anywhere in North America” going forward.
BioWare wouldn’t be the first studio to embrace what amounts to a permanent work-from-home option. Back in December 2020, Square Enix made its own work-from-home accommodations, originally adopted for the pandemic, permanently available for employees. Meanwhile, Square subsidiary and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy developer Eidos Montreal shifted to a four-day workweek in October 2021. Developer Nesting Games, a new studio composed of former Ubisoft employees, also offers full and partial remote work options for its staffers. This is a good thing for the industry and a direction all studios should go in.
Capping the blog post off, BioWare didn’t provide any new details on the in-development Dragon Age and Mass Effect projects. McKay did say, however, that he’s “seeing some incredible work from both teams.”