Former Mass Effect lead writer Mac Walters has reflected on his time at BioWare and explained why he decided to leave the studio earlier this year.
In a recent MinnMax interview (via IGN), Walters discussed how the company grew over his 19 years working there, what the process was like working on the Mass Effect series, specifically the Legendary Edition. He also went into how he decided to leave and create his new studio, Untold Worlds, which is part of NetEase Games.
“It was really just time for me,” Walters said. “After 19 years it just felt kind of like this was the moment. There wasn’t a definitive triggering event or anything I needed to discuss, so [I said] ‘let’s just part ways amicably, and you’ll continue to do your thing and I’ll go do my thing and figure out that.'”
The writer went on to talk about the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition – a remastered version of the trilogy that launched in 2021 – and explained how the team went about creating a project at the request of Electronic Arts that was “unplanned”. He added that in his eyes, the way to make it successful was to “be a little bit rogue and a little bit entrepreneurial in how we were going to build this out with the people we had and the people we could get without disrupting the other teams in the meantime.”
He continued: “That process reminded me a lot of early days BioWare, because we were a small scrappy team, [a] lot of people were wearing lots of different hats. […] There was a lot of camaraderie that was formed with that team, I think because we stayed small. […] A lot of that was reminding me of, call it the good old days or whatever.”
Walters explained that developing and shipping the Legendary Edition was what gave him the final push to leave BioWare, and what allowed him to move away from Mass Effect for good.
“It was so successful to me as a project, in the sense of the team was healthy, we really got along, then of course, it was critically and financially successful,” Walters said. “It just felt like this is the bow on all the things I’ve done in Mass Effect, which is like all the things, really. I don’t want to do any more Mass Effect after this. Why tempt fate?”
For more, check out our list of the best single-player games and best story games.