Ben Irving, the lead producer of BioWare’s open-world shooter Anthem, has left the studio after eight years, citing an “exciting opportunity” as his reason for the departure.
“After 8 amazing years at BioWare I have made the decision to move on and have accepted an exciting opportunity at another gaming company,” Irving said via a series of tweets on his personal Twitter account (thanks, Gamegrin). “Since the first time I played Baldurs Gate many many years ago, BioWare was the dream place I always wanted to work.
“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 concluded his statement by stating his fondness for the Anthem community – “through the good times and the tough times” – and said the game would be in “great hands” with the remaining team members. The news has been met with a number of vitriolic replies from Anthem players on Twitter, with some taking Irving’s departure as a sign that Anthem is “doomed“.
BioWare has yet to confirm a new lead producer to succeed Irving.
A detailed investigation by Kotaku in April depicted an unhealthy culture at the acclaimed studio and included specific references to senior staff from a number of anonymous sources that intimated the studio lacked focus and drive throughout much of Anthem’s pre-production and production processes.
BioWare responded to claims of “problems in the development of Anthem and some of [its] previous projects” with both a public statement and an internal memo to all staff, acknowledging the workplace “problems are real” and pledged “to continue working to solve them”.