‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ – Senior Development Director Leaving BioWare

Mass Effect: Andromeda, the sequel to Mass Effect 3, has just lost its Senior Development Director, Chris Wynn, GameRant reports. When first announcing his departure, Wynn did not give explicit details on why he was parting ways with BioWare.

“It is with a heavy heart today to say that I am moving on from BioWare and Mass Effect: Andromeda, and returning to the USA,” Wynn announced on Twitter, on December 22.

According to Game Informer, BioWare recently issued a statement regarding Wynn’s decision to step away, but also did not give explicit details.

“Chris was a great member of the team. We want to thank him for his contributions and we wish him the best in his new adventures. Development of Mass Effect Andromeda continues to move full speed ahead at BioWare Montreal, Edmonton and Austin.”

Before he ever joined BioWare and the Mass Effect team, Chris Wynn was working as a producer for Epic Games and Microsoft. He was able to help launch popular titles, like Gears of War 3 as well as Gears of War: Judgement. In addition, he has worked on the Madden series. What specific project he will be working on next was something he did not reveal. But in his absence, BioWare will be bringing in the original lead writer for Mass Effect, Drew Karpyshyn. A three-year break kept Karpyshyn away from BioWare, as he was putting his time and effort into other non-video game related projects. But now, he is ready to return and feels that it is the right time to do so.

But what does this mean for the hardcore Mass Effect players at home?

'Mass Effect: Andromeda' - Senior Development Director Leaving BioWare
Mass Effect: Andromeda was announced this summer at E3 and gamers have been chomping at the bit for any kind of information from BioWare, though the company has been very tight-lipped about the project. Wynn was a central presence in the series, and his departure could mean any number of things for the future of the franchise. The tiny bit of information that has been spreading out is in regards to the iconic character of Commander Shepard.

In a short teaser trailer, Shepard can be heard talking to a yet-to-be revealed character, giving them the mantle of being the lead in the next installment. A Reddit user theorized that the dog tag seen at the 44-second mark in the trailer, which reads either “Ryder” or “Rider,” could be giving away the name of the new lead.

'Mass Effect: Andromeda' - Senior Development Director Leaving BioWare
Mass Effect: Andromeda is going to be the first game in the series to not have Commander Shepard as the lead playable character. While this has caused some fans to be very upset, Chris Wynn, at the time, assured them that the game’s experience will still be worth it and to have an open mind. The game has been in development since 2012.

BioWare has said “We knew we wanted to start with a foundation composed of the best parts of any Mass Effect game: exciting new worlds to discover, great characters, and intense action. At the same time, we clearly wanted to expand the definition of what you should expect from a Mass Effect game.”

Small tidbits of information regarding the game include Mako, the six-wheeled vehicle used in the first Mass Effect game, would be included in the fourth installment, along with a multiplayer component.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is scheduled to be released sometime in 2016, and will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

[Image via Electronic Arts/BioWare]