Mike Laidlaw, creative director of the Dragon Age series, announced that he has decided to leave BioWare after an astonishing 14 year run at the studio.
“It’s with a mix of emotions that I’m announcing my time at BioWare has ended,” said Laidlaw in a statement shared via his Twitter account. After 14 years and a chance to work on Jade Empire, Mass Effect and all things Dragon Age it’s time for me to move on. In my time at BioWare, I have been lucky to work with some of the most talented and hardworking people in the industry. It’s been an honor to be part of the Dragon Age team, and I have every confidence that the world we’ve created together is in good hands…”
Laidlaw also states that he plans on “reconnecting with all the amazing games and worlds that my peers have created” in the near future. Beyond that, he does not voice his intentions to join or start another studio.
Despite Laidlaw’s assurances, fans will undoubtedly see Laidlaw’s departure as a huge blow to the future of the Dragon Age franchise. As we’ve previously noted, it seemed that BioWare was at least planning on developing a new Dragon Age game, if they had not begun work on such a title already. Given that David Gaider, a writer for the Dragon Age franchise, also left BioWare last year, you’d be forgiven for fearing the worst in regards to the possibility of receiving another Dragon Age game at this point.
The real story here, though, is what remains of BioWare. Between key staff departures and the largely negative reaction that accompanied the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, BioWare has certainly seen better days. All of the companies founders have retired by this point and many of the creative leads who worked on games like Jade Empire and Knights of the Old Republic have left to join other projects. Drew Karpyshyn, who helped write Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, and Mass Effect, is one of the few major BioWare members to leave and return.
Officially, BioWare is hard at work on the recently-revealed Anthem and may or may not be developing a new Star Wars project. Unofficially…well, the games will still say they are developed by BioWare, but it remains to be seen whether BioWare will ever be the same.
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