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Former Dragon Age Producer Debunks the ‘BioWare Magic’ Myth

A few years ago, after the release – and failure – of Anthem, journalists began to release materials about the development of the game. The phrase “BioWare magic” often appeared in them, they say, the authors of the multiplayer action movie hoped that sooner or later everything would start to go like clockwork, you just need to believe, wait and hope. Mark Darra, former producer of the Dragon Age series, is tired of hearing about this so-called magic.

Darra spent a long monologue on his YouTube channel in which he explained this term, and then criticized it. Its essence is simple: it is the expectation of a miracle. The team has been programming mechanics for a long time, modeling assets, but the project really begins to take shape only when suddenly an insight descends on the studio, which happens very late. Visually, it resembles a hockey stick, where the hook is the very “magic”.

The main problem, the producer believes, lies in the unpredictability of the process itself: the notorious expectation of a miracle can take months, or maybe years, and it is precisely this that is to blame for the revisions and regular postponements of release dates. At the same time, management does not learn from mistakes, which leads to disasters.

Mark Darra, however, emphasizes that such “magic” is not just a problem for BioWare. Many developers sin like this. Similar problems, for example, were experienced by the Polish company CD Projekt RED. According to Darra, this is a very unhealthy approach that should be abandoned.

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