How Important Is One Person to Shaping Vision and Content

Today saw another big loss of talent at Bioware. Casey Hudson, who has been part of the development of many of my favorite games has been given a fond farewell by the studio’s general manager. While Casey’s words in the message are upbeat and positive in tone, I can’t help but feel that he’d had enough of the pressure and pace of the industry. He is leaving an awesome legacy, but how does someone come to the decision to walk away from all of that?

As a fan of great games, I can’t help but feel a little bit of… guilt?… for contributing to the loss of people full of passion and vision. I’m not a troll, I don’t complain, I try to be supportive and enthusiastic, I don’t flame or rage even when I feel disappointment. It isn’t like a sense of guilt is logical, but it lingers. Am I needy, does my own passion and love of these games contribute to the people who develop them getting burned out? Maybe having popular games and fans full of high expectations takes an unforgivable toll after a while.

When the founders of Bioware moved on to other ventures, I worried that somehow without them there, the games I love would never be the same again. So far that dire fear hasn’t materialized. Departures like this do make you wonder just how much influence a single person has on a game studio. There are so many people involved in the process of creation that even the loss of someone with a lot of influence in that process doesn’t sink the ship. It is such a complex process that as a fan, it is really hard to tell just how much a single person’s influence alters, shapes, or guides the games you come to love.

Here is hoping there is plenty of continuity and that we never notice the loss.

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