Well, here’s something I didn’t see coming at all.
In a post over on the BioWare Blog, Studio General Manager, Aaron Flynn, broke the news that long time staff member, Casey Hudson, has left the company. Hudson has been a staple at BioWare for the past 16 years, wearing many different hats at the studio. Starting out as a Technical Artist on games like Neverwinter Nights and MDK2, Hudson quickly rose up the ranks moving to Project Director on Knights of the Old Republic and more recently leading the development teams on the Mass Effect franchise.
After so much success, why leave now?
“After what already feels like a lifetime of extraordinary experiences, I have decided to hit the reset button and move on from BioWare,” Hudson said in a letter to the company. “I’ll take a much needed break, get perspective on what I really want to do with the next phase of my life, and eventually, take on a new set of challenges.”
Before departing, he also had this to say to the fans in this letter:
“Long before I worked in games, I was fascinated by their ability to transport me to places where amazing and memorable experiences awaited. When I made my very first asset that I knew would actually make it into a game (the laser bolt in MDK2!) I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to contribute in some small way to the process of creating interactive entertainment.
Now, having led the development of four major titles, I’m profoundly appreciative of the role I’ve been able to play in creating these games. The very idea that so many of you have enjoyed spending time in the worlds we’ve created is the defining achievement of my career, and it’s your support over the years that made it all possible.
I know that I leave our projects in great hands, and I join you in looking forward to playing them.”
While I’ve never met the man in person, I’m a major fan of his work so to that end, I am sad to see him go. On the flip side, 16 years is a huge amount of time so he’s more than earned that piece of mind and rest he’s looking for. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a Mass Effect Retrospective panel at PAX East a couple years back headed up by Geoff Keighley and featured some of the major Mass Effect developers which included Hudson. It was a wonderful behind the scenes look at the game from a developer’s standpoint including getting to hear just what made the series special to each of them. I hope he finds what he’s looking for and I can’t wait to see what’s next for him.