BioWare has announced the departure of Mass Effect director and studio exec producer Casey Hudson.
BioWare studio GM Aaron Flynn and Hudson confirmed the news in a joint announcement on Thursday afternoon.
"After what already feels like a lifetime of extraordinary experiences, I have decided to hit the reset button and move on from BioWare," said Hudson in prepared comments. "I'll take a much needed break, get perspective on what I really want to do with the next phase of my life, and eventually, take on a new set of challenges."
He later added, "While I feel that the time has come, this is without a doubt the most difficult decision of my career."
He began work with BioWare as technical artist on third person action sequel MDK2 released in 2000, and Neverwinter Nights which followed in 2002. Hudson also has Balder's Gate 2 and Jade Empire on his CV.
BioWare did not announce a replacement for the exec producer role, nor did Hudson elaborate any further on his plans for the future.
Hudson did, however, move to reassure fans on the quality of BioWare's upcoming games despite his departure.
"The foundation of our new IP in Edmonton is complete, and the team is ready to move forward into pre-production on a title that I think will redefine interactive entertainment," he said, presumably referring to the new game the studio has been teasing for reveal at Gamescom next week.
"Development for the next Mass Effect game is well underway, with stunning assets and playable builds that prove the team is ready to deliver the best Mass Effect experience to date. And the Dragon Age: Inquisition team is putting the final touches on a truly ambitious title with some of the most beautiful visuals I've seen in a game," he added.
While Mass Effect 4 has been confirmed for some time, it is yet to be publicly shown aside from prototype materials debuted at E3 2014 and the San Diego Comic Con. According to the game's producer Mike Gamble, the next-generation Mass Effect project is 'years away' from completion.