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Casey Hudson has left Microsoft's efforts with Windows Mixed Reality and returned to BioWare

Taking up the mantle of Creative Director, Casey Hudson joined Microsoft and even relocated to Redmond to help the company develop experiences for what is now known as Windows Mixed Reality. Unfortunately for Microsoft's MR efforts, Hudson has returned to lead EA's BioWare.

In a statement posted on the official BioWare blog, Casey Hudson hailed the studio responsible for Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and the upcoming Anthem franchise, stating that it feels as though he has returned home. There's no mention of Microsoft whatsoever in his statement, save for an admission Hudson had wanted to work with "disruptive technologies," presumably referring HoloLens.

"I needed some time off, needed a bit of change, and wanted to get involved in the new wave of disruptive technologies that were emerging. The last few years have been transformative for me, from having time to reflect on what I most want to do, to working with new technologies at platform scale. And now, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to return to lead BioWare – a studio that I think of as home."

Hudson will replace the departing General Manager Aaryn Flynn, who is leaving BioWare after 17 years. Be sure to read Casey Hudson's full statement over here.

BioWare finds itself in a bit of a tough position lately. Mass Effect Andromeda is widely regarded as the most disappointing game in what was previously BioWare's flagship franchise, due to sparse content, rampant bugs, and a general lack of polish. There's also evidence that EA has put the franchise on hiatus, canceling all planned single player DLC. It looks as though it could be a long time before we see Mass Effect re-emerge, if at all.

BioWare isn't one to write off, though, since the company arguably had one of the most insane trailers of E3 2017, with its Xbox One X headliner "Anthem," referred to internally as a "Destiny killer." The studio has also been teasing a follow up to Dragon Age Inquisition, BioWare's RPG fantasy series. Whether Casey Hudson can rescue Mass Effect from obscurity remains to be seen, but I suspect BioWare's respective studios will be all-in on Anthem and Dragon Age for the time being.

As far as Windows Mixed Reality goes, the loss of Hudson will likely come as a blow, given his knowledge and experience creating blockbuster gaming experiences. Microsoft is slowly (very slowly) ramping up its efforts in the space, having recently launched a round of developer kits from the likes of Acer and Lenovo.

Windows Mixed Reality and HoloLens as a platform hasn't really seen any form of official "launch" as of yet, at least not with consumers. Most of the apps available on the Mixed Reality store are rudimentary tech demos or practice apps, with the lion's share of quality programs being focused on education or enterprise. Whether Microsoft can transform Mixed Reality into a viable gaming platform remains to be seen, but with the loss of Casey Hudson, Redmond's job just got a little tougher.

Jez Corden
Jez Corden

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • I think ita something more than what he mentioned . Good luck anyways
  • Hopefully we get mass effect Andromeda 2 as good as or better than mass effect 2. Albeit in 2-3 years.
  • Hopefully, he will fire Manveer Heir and all those SJWs that have made Bioware their playground, and focus on making good games without social agendas.
  • I don't understand why this comment gets down votes. I'm sure being a SJW isn't part of his job description. There are PLENTY of jobs out there where you can march in a street and get paid by George Soros to be a SJW.
  • I guess some people were "triggered" by my comment. Funny enough I was able to up vote it myself, hence neutralizing at least one down vote, hehe. Also, apparently he got fired in April/May because of public pressure, which is sad, because that shouldn't be a reason. Being on the wrong path when developing video games should have been the reason. ME:Andromeda being a commercial disaster was the judge of that.
  • Nah, that brand is now so tarnished its not going to be back for a LOT longer than 2-3 years.
  • Interesting when paired with today's AC story about Google glass for enterprise.
  • The guy bailed at the right time. Microsoft is going down (except in Azure/O365). Why stay at a company that can't deliver? Remember the demo on Oct 26th where they demoed using a Windows Phone to walk around a sand castle and put the image into Remix 3d, and then see it in Mixed Reality? Remember at the same event with 'Mixed Reality" headsets would be available "early 2017". Where is a consumer HaloLens? How many years out? Will Apple start years late, with nothing, and beat Microsoft to consumers with VR/AR? Shameful. Nadella took a $10B dollar a year revenue in Windows Phone, and turned it into a $1M a year business. While doing this, he chased away app developers that were foolish enough to trust his promises, and consumers dumb enough to trust his commitments. Many of those consumers and app developers are gone forever, never to trust a company run by him again. Nadella promised, "I am committed to our first-party devices including phones" in his memo to employees on July 8th, 2015. He may have been lying, but probably just incompetent when it comes to delivering anything outside of Azure/O365. Meanwhile, Google officially took over the lead in browsers, took over the lead in OSs, is taking over schools, is killing it on phone, wearables, IOT, home automation, home speakers, smart TVs, and on, and on, and on. Nadella now promises "The ultimate mobile device", but who believes in him or the company he runs anymore? Not Casey Hudson, and you can't blame him.
  • Sadly, I do agree with you. Microsoft has created many great products, but failed to focus on consumer. That was a huge mistake. The consumer market, regardless of the enterprise focus, is where mindshare is won. Windows 10 Mobile should have had a lot more focus, even if they plan on moving to Windows 10 on ARM for an ultra-mobile PC. HoloLens was ground breaking, when it was first introduced and MS failed to deliver a device that developers wanted to develop for and consumers are aware of and desired to have. Their lack of communication to it's consumers and to the public about the intent and plans of such devices is ridiculous. How can consumers trust them, when they don't communicate.
    It's like having a wife (consumers) that accuses you of cheating, because you failed to communicate with her, when you go off routine. So, she's left to believe what she sees. With no communication from the husband (MS), she is left to speculate the worst. Then the husband gets upset, because the wife starts showing interest in someone (Android or iPhone) else.
    MS must be open, clear and stand by what they say. If they can't, then they should be open and clear about that so consumers and developers understand the planning and reasoning behind their actions. Normally, I wouldn't expect a company to have to focus on communicating to keep everyone in the loop, but MS has committed to actions that are seen as suicide to consumers and developers and proper and honest communication is the only way to get past this. In addition, strong followup to what they say they are going to do. It's very disappointing. As diehard as I've been for Windows 10 Mobile, I've been really considering switching to Android, whenever my 950 XL starts to fail to meet my current needs. Although, since my Band 2 is now officially broken, with no way to get it replaced by MS, I'm looking into other sport trackers. Unfortunately, the really good alternatives only work on Android or iOS.
  • I couldn't agree more. Better to be the first one out of a burning house than the last one out...
  • dat trojan horse
  • Who cares where he is. Isn't it common that game developers develop games for the windows platform, thus also for its mixed reality platform? So it doesn't really make a difference.
  • Meh. Looking at how little Microsoft has progressed with Hololens and Mixed Reality I have to wonder how much this guy was actually contributing.
  • I'm so mega pissed at the Bioware dropping the Mass Effect Andromeda DLC. I really thought they should have left it at ME3 but you know what they've created half a fricken game now with a whole heap of story arc's that are badly incomplete. Finish it you bastards!
  • Next mass effect game will be amazing
  • I hope he has already developed some cool games for Hololens before leaving;")
  • Good for him that he left this mediocre company...
  • It's really a big loss for Microsoft during this tough time to win the market's attention.
  • For me, this doesn't sound good for Hololens. MS may be cutting the resources they are putting into this tech... I guess what really matters at the end is the profit for investors with least amount of risk.
  • Anthem aka Iron Man series. No?