Former BioWare general manager and Mass Effect director Casey Hudson has now founded his own studio to develop games independently.
Hudson announced the formation of Humanoid Studios on Twitter (opens in new tab) today. Hudson will lead Humanoid Studios as CEO and the studio's newly minted website (opens in new tab) confirms he is its founder, but Hudson noted that he got things up and running with the help of "some colleagues," though we don't know who else is involved at this stage.
Humanoid Studios is actively looking to fill several key roles. The Canada-based studio will maintain offices in British Columbia and Alberta, and while it's starting with work-from-home arrangements due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it will eventually transition to mostly on-site work.
Hudson stressed that Humanoid Studios will focus on "bringing innovation and artistry to players through an all-new IP," but neither he nor Humanoid's website have shared much more on the studio's first game. Whatever it is, it's undoubtedly very early in development, with a good bit of prototyping still to be done, so that's not a big surprise. We also know that Humanoid will be working in Unreal Engine – presumably Unreal Engine 5 – which will see Hudson return to Unreal after working in Unreal Engine 3 throughout the Mass Effect trilogy only to wrangle EA's Frostbite engine during Anthem's development.
Interestingly, the listing for the studio's director of operations (opens in new tab) calls for an applicant who can "drive a program of ancillary products based on Humanoid IP, such as movies and TV, toys, books, and apparel." This reads like a list of hypothetical products that may eventually run in parallel to the studio's games, but the mere mention of movies and TV, in particular, does speak to the studio's confidence, as well as the types of cinematic stories it may be looking to tell through its games.
"Humanoid Studios is a new videogame company founded on the axiom that creative freedom and independence lead to better, more innovative games," the mission statement atop each job listing reads. "We believe in the power of small, agile teams, and a flat organizational structure, where everyone is empowered to make decisions and help drive the project vision."
Hudson left BioWare in December 2020 alongside Dragon Age lead Mark Darrah (who has not mentioned any involvement with Humanoid Studios). Hudson started at BioWare in 2000 and initially left in 2014, only to return in 2017 as the studio's general manager and the project lead on Anthem.
Hudson's successor Gary McKay recently discussed plans for "rebuilding" the studio's reputation following Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem's struggles.