Mass Effect: Andromeda's senior development director, Chris Wynn, announced that he would be moving on from Bioware just before Christmas. Wynn had been with the company since July of 2013, previously working at Epic and Microsoft, as well as a near-six year stint as a development director at EA. He'll be moving back to the USA rather than staying in Bioware's Canadian home of Montreal.
Here's everything we know about Mass Effect: Andromeda. Hopefully more soon.
The move was first announced by Wynn himself on Twitter:
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.— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) December 22, 2015
He went on to say that the Andromeda team is the "most talented [he has] ever worked with" and that he's just as excited for the game's final release as the community. He later confirmed that he'll be able to talk about what he's doing next soon.
Meanwhile Bioware issued a statement to Game Informer thanking Wynn, acknowledging his hard work for the team and wishing him well. They also point out that all three of their major studios continue to be hard at work on Andromeda, still scheduled for release at the end of 2016.
To read between the lines a bit, it has the hallmarks of an amiable split. While Andromeda's still nearly a year from release, the role of a development director at this point will change from large, sweeping decisions to smaller micro-managing. It's easy to see how Wynn could be tempted back to his homeland with a lucrative job offer elsewhere, as seems to be the case. That's all speculation of course, and I've no personal experience of Bioware's development mechanism so I could be off base in that regard.
As for the fate of Andromeda, it's not easy to replace someone high up in the structure like this, even if the end-of-year timing would suggest its been known internally for a while. I would have assumed a slip to early 2017 was on the cards anyway though, so my bet is still on that. 2016's too busy anyway.