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Mass Effect’s Legendary Edition’s Success Is The Reason Behind Former Lead Writer’s Exit


“This is the bow on all the things I’ve done”

Former Mass Effect lead writer said that the success of the Legendary Edition helped persuade him: “I don’t want to do any more Mass Effect after this.”

Mac Walters, who worked at BioWare from 2003 to 2023, spoke with MinnMax about his time at the Mass Effect studio. Walters discussed working on the Mass Effect Legendary Edition a few years ago and how its success convinced him that it was time to move on and start his own studio, which he did earlier this year.

“One of the great opportunities I had, which kind of came out of the blue, was working on Legendary Edition,” Walters explains. “That was a project I think we wanted to have greenlit for years. We’ve been asking to do it, and when the opportunity came up, EA came to us and said, ‘Hey, can you do this?’ and we were like, ‘Yeah, we can do it’ – but it wasn’t on a roadmap.”

Walters explains that the studio was also working on other upcoming games at the time, including Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, which complicated things for the BioWare team.

“If you think about a lot of the planning that goes into these games, like with their cycles, that can be four years long,” Walters explains. “You plan all that stuff out, and all of a sudden, we’ve got this project that’s unplanned.” To keep Legendary Edition on track without disrupting the other teams, the developer says he had to be “a little bit rogue” and “entrepreneurial.”

Mass Effect gameplay footage depicting in game combat

“That process reminded me a lot of early days BioWare because we were a small scrappy team,” Walters recalls, “there was a lot of camaraderies that was formed with that team, I think because we stayed small.” “I was like, ‘Yeah, this is the future; I think this is how triple-A gaming needs to go,'” the Mass Effect writer says of the experience.

Walters says of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition’s success, both financially and critically, but also in terms of how the team performed and got along during development: “It just felt like this is the bow on my all the things I’ve done in Mass Effect […] I don’t want to do any more Mass Effect after this. Why tempt fate?”

Walters says he then wanted to get back into a new IP, especially after working on BioWare’s other IPs from the ground up, such as Jade Empire and Anthem. According to the developer, they inquired at BioWare and EA to see if this was possible, but “it became pretty clear [that] there probably wouldn’t be, at least not for the foreseeable future. That’s when I started thinking like, ‘No, okay, I think I think I’m done.”