Anthem developer BioWare has made a statement regarding the development of its latest title and the work culture within the studio.
"We put a great emphasis on our workplace culture in our studios," the statement reads. "The health and well-being of our team members is something we take very seriously.
"We have built a new leadership team over the last couple of years, starting with Casey Hudson as our GM in 2017, which has helped us make big steps to improve studio culture and our creative focus."
The response comes after a report from Kotaku that details an epidemic of depression and anxiety within the studio.
"We hear the criticisms that were raised by the people in the piece today, and we’re looking at that alongside feedback that we receive in our internal team surveys," BioWare continued.
"Making games, especially new IP, will always be one of the hardest entertainment challenges. We do everything we can to try and make it healthy and stress-free, but we also know there is always room to improve."
Kotaku's report, written by Jason Schreier, included accounts from nineteen current and past employees of BioWare, who described an environment of unfocused leadership and overall vision.
“The root cause of all this was that lack of vision,” said one former BioWare developer in Kotaku's report. “What are we making? Please tell us. The recurring theme was there was no vision, there was no clarity, there was no single director saying, ‘This is how it all works together.’”
Schreier also describes a "studio in crisis," noting that "many say they or their co-workers had to take “stress leave”—a doctor-mandated period of weeks or even months worth of vacation for their mental health."
"One former BioWare developer told me they would frequently find a private room in the office, shut the door, and just cry. “People were so angry and sad all the time,” they said. "
The full report can be read over at Kotaku.