The project leader and director of some of our favorite RPGs, including the Mass Effect trilogy and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, has left BioWare after 16 years of game development.

Aaryn Flynn, BioWare's Studio General Manager, has just announced on the company's official blog that Casey Hudson has parted ways with the studio after 16 years of employment. Hudson started at BioWare as a technical artist on many of the company's earlier titles, including MDK 2. He would go on to be the project director of what we consider to the greatest Star Wars game of all time, Knights of the Old Republic. By the end of his run at BioWare, Flynn had led the development of the entire Mass Effect trilogy. Unfortunately, we are unsure as to how Hudson's departure will affect the development of the next Mass Effect title, which BioWare claims is still years away from being finished.

Hudson's letter to his colleagues mentions an unannounced IP that BioWare Edmonton has started planning:

After what already feels like a lifetime of extraordinary experiences, I have decided to hit the reset button and move on from BioWare. 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.

Though there’s never an easy time to make a change like this, I believe this is the best time for it. 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.

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.

But while I feel that the time has come, this is without a doubt the most difficult decision of my career. BioWare is as magical a place today as it was when I started. The projects we are working on are some of the most exciting and prestigious in the world. The talent in our teams is second to none. And the people here are some of my closest friends. I’ve spent more time with many of you than my own family, and I have enjoyed every day of it.

Hudson has yet to say whether or not he will continue to work in the video game industry. His departure marks yet another high end project lead leaving his studio in the middle of developing a major title. Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog while Uncharted 4 was being developed, Col Rodgers left Evolution Studios in the middle of making DriveClub and God of War 3 director Stig Asmussen left SCE Santa Monica while working on The Order: 1886. Could it be that the interference and stresses from publishing companies are starting to get the best of the industry's most creative individuals? Hudson's projects have raised the standards of role-playing games, and we hate to see him part ways with his talented team. Nevertheless, we hope Hudson returns back to game development. We also can't wait to hear about BioWare's new, unannounced IP.

More From Arcade Sushi