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The legendary Drew Karpyshyn departs from Bioware


Drew Karpyshyn is the man behind some of gaming's most memorable stories. He was the lead writer of Mass Effect 1 and 2, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, to name but a few. He was also the lead writer for Bioware's next title, Anthem. He is also a novelist and left Bioware for the first time in 2012 to work on Chaos Born trilogy.

Karpyshyn announced in a blog post that as of March 2, he was no longer an employee at Bioware. Thankfully, he isn't leaving gaming completely but is joining FoxNext Games' (a division of 21st Century Fox) San Francisco branch called Fogbank Entertainment. Interesting enough, Fogbank is run by two former Bioware employees, and with the addition of Karpyshyn to the current 20-man team, we can expect great things. Daniel Erickson is Fogbanks' Studio Director (was Lead Designer and Creative Director at Bioware), and worked on Dragon Age: Origins as well as on Star Wars: The Old Republic. Alexander Freed, also a former lead writer at Bioware, currently oversees narrative development at Fogbanks.

In his blog post, Karpyshyn made it clear that he has "no dirty laundry" to air about Bioware, but that it was just time to move on. "I know a lot of you are wondering why I’m doing this. For many people, working at BioWare would be their dream job and they can’t imagine anyone stepping away from it. But it was time for me to move on, explains Karpyshyn. "Everyone who works at BioWare pours their heart and soul into the games they are making. It’s creatively demanding and – at times – exhausting. In the past, I’ve managed to juggle outside projects with my work at BioWare, but it always took a toll. And there were always outside projects I had to pass on because they would represent a conflict of interest with BioWare or EA properties."

It is a big loss for Bioware, especially with Anthem set to release in 2019, but I am incredibly excited to see what Fogbanks brings to the electronic playground. The official announcement from FoxNext Games states that the Fogbanks team is working on an "episodic narrative game, which will draw from story, character, and location elements based on acclaimed Fox intellectual property as well as original content." It does remind me of what Telltale Games have been doing with their Walking Dead Series, Batman, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Fogbank will disclose more details about their upcoming projects at the Games Beat Summit in April.

But what about Anthem? The last Bioware game; Mass Effect Andromeda failed miserably; especially when it came to the narrative and story. Casey Hudson, Bioware General Manager, took to Twitter to assure fans that Karpyshyn's loss will not have a negative impact on Anthem's story development. "Story will always be an important part of every BioWare game. Drew has wrapped up his work on the project, but Anthem’s Lead Writers and their teams continue to do amazing work developing the world, story, and characters."

Are you assured?

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