Another senior staffer has left BioWare, this time from the Dragon Age team in Edmonton, Alberta. Fernando Melo, a Dragon Age senior producer, announced that he was leaving the company effective August 16.
Melo is the second senior producer to depart BioWare this week. Earlier, Ben Irving, who had been working as a lead producer on Anthem in Austin, announced he was leaving the company to accept what he said was “an exciting opportunity at another gaming company.”
In his parting email to colleagues, which he shared on Twitter, Melo describes his 12 years at BioWare, during which he worked on both the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises, will always hold a special place in his heart.
“It is unlikely that anything else will ever be able to match that,” he wrote. “But they say all good things must come to an end. For me personally, I’ve been wanting to take some time to disconnect and figure out what I’d like to focus on as a next chapter.”
He said now seemed like a time when his departure would cause as little disruption to the company as possible.
BioWare fans frustrated with Anthem’s disappointing launch this year will likely suspect that as the reason for Melo’s departure, but he was not involved in that game’s production – or at least does not appear in the credits.
(1/4) Today was my last day at BioWare. After 12 years.. that's a heck of a lot of feels. 🙂
Tonight I got to write my name up at our local pub, alongside many other amazing peers over the years, and it reminded me of a lot of folks no longer here that I miss dearly. pic.twitter.com/MFQELPM2jr
— Fernando Melo (@DiscoBabaloo) August 17, 2019
However, Anthem has had effects across BioWare. The game that was originally going to be Dragon Age 4, codenamed “Joplin,” was cancelled in 2017 so that BioWare could move more people onto Anthem to help complete the game. Anthem’s development had been handled by BioWare Edmonton, but was moved to BioWare Austin post-launch so that studio could manage its live service component.
The next Dragon Age, codenamed “Morrison” and announced at last year’s Game Awards, is currently in development at BioWare Edmonton, and that was the project Melo had been working on. He says he’s looking forward to playing it “as a fan” this time.
“Morrison is well underway to becoming the definitive Dragon Age experience – and I’m incredibly proud to have played a part in that,” he said.