Mass Effect and Dragon Age veteran invokes BioWare’s biggest RPG flop as he rails against EA’s newfound “hunger” for AI

Mass Effect and Dragon Age veteran invokes BioWare’s biggest RPG flop as he rails against EA’s newfound “hunger” for AI
By: Posted: May 12, 2024

Mass Effect and Dragon Age veteran David Gaider has hit back against his former publisher’s apparent “hunger” for AI development tools, referencing developer BioWare’s biggest failure to do so.

Earlier this week, Andrew Wilson, CEO of BioWare owner EA, doubled down on the company’s commitment to AI. During an earnings call, Wilson suggested that “more than 50% of our development processes” would be affected by generative AI in the future and that there was a “real hunger” to use the tools across the company.

Several figures across the industry have hit back against Wilson’s aims, but perhaps none more cuttingly so than David Gaider, who worked at BioWare for 17 years from 1999. In his time at the studio, he helped shape several massive CRPGs, as well as the developer’s pivot towards the likes of Dragon Age and Mass Effect.

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In a tweet, Gaider said that the ‘hunger’ that Wilson referred to “is the allure of a spreadsheet where the labor costs suddenly show as a teeny tiny bar compared to the other bars.” He also suggests that the benefit of AI is to executives, rather than developers. In a follow-up, he says, “They want you to believe the devs under them are super stoked to work generative AI into their processes, but I assure you what they took as excitement was really a veiled wail of despair.”

That despair, Gaider claims is “not unlike the time that team was informed of their new ‘really cool’ live service mandate.” It’s not hard to see what he means by that – having made its name with expansive, story-driven, single-player RPGs, BioWare’s next game after Mass Effect Andromeda was Anthem, an online multiplayer game that failed dismally after its release in 2019. Despite its live-service plans, development on Anthem was unceremoniously ended two years after release (and after its promised overhaul failed to manifest). Since then, BioWare has turned back to its bread and butter, with Mass Effect 5 slated to follow Dragon Age Dreadwolf, which is expected out within the next 12 months.

Check out our list of the best BioWare games, ranked.

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