"Another Mass Effect? Do I have it in me to do another?” - Former BioWare lead writer reflects on his last project with the studio

What appears to be Liara appearing in the first teaser for the Next Mass Effect game
(Image credit: EA)

It's fair to say that the most defining work from developer BioWare is the Mass Effect series, which would become an influential RPG franchise. But in the years since the conclusion of the main trilogy, the sequel Andromeda, and the Legendary Edition, the studio has undergone several changes following many key creatives departing for new opportunities elsewhere.

As successful as Mass Effect has been, many of the key creatives who've worked on the series are content with the work they accomplished and have moved to new projects. Recently, former lead writer of the Mass Effect series Mac Walters had an interview with the MinnMax gaming podcast, where they talked about moving on from BioWare to found the new studio Worlds Untold. Along with reflecting on the series' success, they were also quite frank about knowing when it was time to step away from BioWare and Mass Effect.

In the interview, Walters talked about the lead-up to his decision to depart the studio, which happened not long after the release of the Legendary Edition, a faithful remaster of the original trilogy.

"[Mass Effect] Legendary Edition was released in spring 2021, and I left holiday 2022, so there was a long period where I was unwinding, unplugging, and feeling like, 'Hey, I think I'm kind of done with this,'" said the former BioWare writer and project lead. "It was a process for me, right? I'm sure it seemed more abrupt from the outside looking in, but I went through my own mental journey with that."

The former BioWare lead writer stated that he even felt like leaving the studio before the Legendary Edition began development, having second thoughts about doing "another Mass Effect."

During his time at BioWare, Mac Walters would become one of the key figures behind the success of the Mass Effect series. Starting as a writer on 2005's Jade Empire, he transitioned to a senior writer on the original Mass Effect, then lead writer on its two sequels. Eventually, he became a creative director on the sequel Andromeda and then served as director on the remaster of the Mass Effect trilogy. He briefly worked as a production director on the upcoming Dragon Age: Dreadwolf before departing BioWare for his new studio, Worlds Untold, under NetEase's ownership.

While Walters spoke highly of his time at BioWare and its sci-fi RPG series in the interview, he was also frank in his decision to leave and how working on large IPs motivated him to step away. When asked if he would ever work on the Mass Effect series, he stated he would rather not and felt that working on the Legendary Edition was a nice end to his time on the series.

"There’s part of me that had that feeling of, 'Do I want to revisit all of this? Do I want to go backward?' because there’s a sense of 'Am I going to go back?' Obviously, I was so glad I made the decision to do it because I personally learned so much through that whole process, it was fantastic," said the former lead creative of the Mass Effect series. "I really enjoyed our time together, and it was nice because it was a short project. That was one thing that was really special about that too, being able to start and finish in less than three years."

As of 2023, BioWare is working on two new games for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises, with both aiming to recapture the highs of earlier entries. As for Walters, he's currently working on a new IP for Worlds Untold, which is also a sci-fi game.

For more on what's coming from BioWare, check out our articles on everything you need about Mass Effect 5 and Dragon Age: Dreadwolf.

Alessandro Fillari

Alessandro is a freelance writer and editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area who has covered the games, tech, and entertainment industries for more than 13 years. Having previously worked at GameSpot, CNET, and various other outlets writing features and coordinating event coverage, Alessandro enjoys playing games on PC, but also gives plenty of time to his Nintendo Switch. You can find him on various socials at @afillari.