Wizards of the Coast Teams With Ex-BioWare Devs for New Studio

Wizards of the Coast Teams With Ex-BioWare Devs for New Studio

The new, autonomous studio is making a science fiction adventure.

Wizards of the Coast has made a new commitment to video gaming over the past year. Baldur's Gate 3, from Divinity: Original Sin 2 developer Larian Studios, was revealed back in June. Then was the announcement of Magic: Legends, an isometric action-RPG in the vein of Diablo, and the return of Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance.

Now Wizards of the Coast has revealed a brand-new studio. Archetype Entertainment is a new development studio founded in Austin, Texas by a number of veteran developers from BioWare and other AAA studios. And unlike other Wizards of the Coast studios, like the recently-acquired Tuque Games, Archetype Entertainment will be working on original projects, not existing Wizards properties.

"We are assembling a world-class team to build a multi-platform roleplaying game set in a new science fiction universe," says the official Archetype website. "At Archetype, we believe there will always be a place for story-driven roleplaying games that put the player at the center of an epic personal narrative with impactful choices. We are building games that represent the diversity of our audience."

Games like Magic: Legends shows Wizards growing focus on video games?

Archetype Entertainment is led by James Ohlen as the Head of Studio. Ohlen is best known as a former creative director for BioWare. During his 22-year career at the studio, he was a lead designer on Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age: Origins, in addition to being game director for Baldur's Gate 2. He moved to Austin to create a new arm for BioWare, which developed the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Ohlen is joined by Chad Robertson, who will be general manager for Archetype. Robertson was the technical director for Mythic Entertainment, joining BioWare Austin as Studio Technical Director in 2011. He stayed there for eight years, ultimately becoming Studio Director and the Head of Live Services for Anthem. Robertson left BioWare in November of last year.

It'll be interesting to see what Archetype Entertainment creates as its first game. The team is currently hiring for several senior-level positions, including Art Director, Senior Gameplay Designer, and Lead Gameplay Engineer. This means it's likely we won't be seeing that title for some time, though the sites does have two pieces of sci-fi themed concept art.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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