Chalk up yet another significant departure from Epic Games, creators of the Gears of War franchise. After much of the senior executives left the company over the past few years, another senior producer on Gears of War: Judgment has found employment at astudio which should be familiar to fans of third-person shooters.
Epic’s Chris Wynn took to Twitter today to inform his followers that he was leaving the development studio to accept a position as BioWare‘s newest Senior Development Director for the next (still-unannounced) installment of the Mass Effect series.
After acting as one of the spokespeople during the launch of Judgment, Wynn added his name to the list of high-ranking Epic Games designers who have departed the studio since the release of Gears of War 3. First came Rod Fergusson, leaving the company to help get BioShock: Infinite to the finish line (and has since moved on yet again), and studio front-man Cliff Bleszinski himself parting ways with Epic just months later.
Thrilled to announce that I will be joining @Bioware as the Sr. Development Director on the next Mass Effect!— Chris Wynn (@HammerOfWynn) July 2, 2013
Although Wynn has yet to give a more in-depth explanation of his decision to move from Gears to Mass Effect, there’s no overlooking the fact that momentum in the once-mighty franchise is beginning to wane. Judgment wasn’t a bad game by any means, but as a low point for the series as a whole, we can’t begrudge any developer for jumping from that ship to what will likely be a highly-marketed, well-funded RPG in Mass Effect 4.
As we learned just weeks ago, ME4 is still in the conceptual stages, so expect to hear plenty of more additions to the development team soon. But given Wynn’s experience in a high-paced blend of third-person shooting and action, BioWare’s interest in adding him to their team makes sense. Granted, Gears may not be the most dense or elaborate role-playing experience we could name, but the similarity between ME combat and Gears has always been evident – about time it was made official.
It goes without saying that fans of the COG will have another Gears game in their future, but what changes the next next-gen Mass Effect will be making to the formula is a far more loaded question. After a promising implementation of their very own Horde Mode for online multiplayer, the bar has been set for the follow-up title. Could Wynn’s experience in the multiplayer arena be what BioWare is after, or simply newly-honed combat for the singleplayer campaign?
Only time will tell, but what will come next from Epic Games is a question that we’re just as curious to see answered. We won’t go so far as to claim that the developer is in trouble, but losing top talent only aggravates the more nagging issues (remember Fortnite?).
What are your hopes for the next Mass Effect? Is a more polished third-person shooter what you’d like to see from the series, or are you putting your hopes into possible spin-offs? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Source: Chris Wynn