BioWare issued a statement today in which they are forgoing their usual hiring process to seek out talented people from anywhere. The company released a “state of the company” blog post from General Manager Gary McKay, in which he goes over some of the highlights from his one year of being in the position, from the issues with the pandemic to the release of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, to the troubles in February in Austin with their “snowpocalypse”. Which brought up a very interesting talking point about how the company has hired people in the past, and how they’ve decided to change things in the future. Here’s a snippet from the piece.
The pandemic has also taught us a lot about how we can work together, even while working across North America from hundreds of different locations. And now, we’ll use what we’ve learned and apply it to a new work model that will ensure flexibility for everyone in the studio. Our goal is to lean into the things that everyone likes about working from home, while also giving people the opportunity to return to the office with more flexibility. Going forward, we’ll have new challenges with a hybrid approach to work and are focused on new tech that will help maximize collaboration and communication between onsite and remote people. Another subtle but important change we’ve made is in our hiring practices: Previously, we were only looking for people willing to relocate to Austin and Edmonton; now we’re looking for new talent from anywhere in North America and we’ll meet them where they live.
It’s interesting that the company is now taking a greater remote-work approach rather than forcing people to head to either Texas to Alberta to work for them. While it could open the doors for them to get a lot of amazing talent who absolutely refuse to leave their current homes, we’re curious how long this will last once the pandemic ends. As we’ve seen in the past from bigger companies outside the gaming industry, a lot of people were eager to scrap pandemic procedures to force people back into offices rather than continue remote work. We’ll see in a year or two if BioWare decides to keep this running or will make the demand again for people to relocate.