Earlier today, GameInformer reported that Shadow Realms, a 4v1 action RPG in development at BioWare Austin, had been canceled. Shortly after, BioWare Austin GM Jeff Hickman confirmed the news.
"We’ve made the decision to not move forward with development of Shadow Realms," wrote Hickman in a post on the official site. He went on to explain that "right now there are other projects for the team to work on within the BioWare studios for the coming year and beyond," citing Star Wars: The Old Republic as the biggest focus, followed by Dragon Age: Inquisition, the next Mass Effect game, and "other new IP."
Shadow Realms was first announced last year with a big, very silly, live action trailer campaign, and was described vaguely as having an episodic "BioWare story" when I played it at PAX Prime.
During that "fan event" (so named despite no one in the room having played it outside of the devs), I had a pretty good time in one match as the Shadowlord, who floats around harassing the adventurers with bombs, traps, and possessed monsters. I left curious, however, as to how the episodic story would be packaged and delivered—it seemed like quite a design challenge to make a five player game with BioWare's signature decision-making and characters.
It's a problem I suspect BioWare Austin was well-suited to solve, but it isn't happening. Still, Hickman's list of other BioWare projects is nothing to sneeze at.