In a statement to IGN, Electronic Arts (EA) has confirmed that it will be merging its two studios in Montreal, Canada. Those studios are Motive Studios and Bioware Montreal.
Bioware Montreal was the studio that headed up the recent entry into the Mass Effect franchise, Mass Effect: Andromeda, which since release has been heavily criticised for issues and poor performance. Motive Studios is headed up by former Ubisoft exec Jade Raymond and are currently working on Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and the as yet unnamed Star Wars game being co-developed by Visceral Games.
According to recent reports, Motive Studios employs over 100 people. The studio was started in 2015 in order to create new action-adventure projects for EA. Bioware Montreal was formed in 2009 as a support studio for the company's main offices in Edmonton, Canada for the Mass Effect franchise with Mass Effect: Andromeda being the only project fully accredited to the studio.
The following statement was given to IGN by EA: “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."
There is no news as to why the move has occurred or if previous release performance has affected the decision. EA has previously stated that the Mass Effect series is being put on hold and that the focus would be on supporting ME: Andromeda. However recent plans for DLC for the title have been axed and the Bioware Montreal team do have experience in using EA and DICE's Frostbite engine.
Our thanks to IGN.