Veteran BioWare designer James Ohlen is leaving the company after 22 years. Ohlen was the lead designer on some of BioWare's most celebrated games, including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, Dragon Age: Origins, and Neverwinter Nights.
Ohlen announced his departure yesterday on Twitter, where he said he "needs to take a break from the industry and work on something a little smaller and more personal." In fact, he already has something lined up: A Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook called Odyssey of the Dragonlords.
"The most fun I've ever had at BioWare was as the lead designer on Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and Neverwinter Nights," Ohlen tweeted. "I've been a D&D fanatic since I was 10 years old and I want to be a part of it again."
After 22 years I have retired from BioWare. I've loved my time with Anthem, Star Wars, Dragon Age and Dungeons and Dragons. But I need to take a break from the industry and work on something a little smaller and more personal.— James Ohlen (@JamesOhlen) July 12, 2018
There's been a small exodus at BioWare as of late: Dragon Age's creative director Mike Laidlaw departed the company last October. General manager Aaron Flynn left a year ago, and Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider departed in January of 2016 after 17 years with the company.
BioWare's biggest priority right now is Anthem, but it says it's still doing background work on the next Dragon Age title. Anthem arrives in February of 2019, and once its launch is over and done with, we might get a better idea of where BioWare is headed.
By the way, we have a guide to everything you need to know about Anthem. Spend some quality time with it.