Back in June, BioWare fans rejoiced when Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer for Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, revealed he had returned to BioWare to work on the company’s new shooter, Anthem. Karpyshyn had originally departed from the company between Mass Effect 2 and 3 to focus on writing a novel trilogy. After the critically disappointing Andromeda, many took this to mean that the company would get back on track when it came to creating enthralling universes and beloved characters.
Today Karpyshyn announced on his personal site that he’s leaving the company “pursue a number of other projects, including more original novels, an original sci-fi graphic novel I’m co-creating, and freelance gaming work.” Karpyshyn also mentions he’s “not leaving games entirely,” and has something in the works with FogBank Entertainment. The press release for the company’s announcement says that FongBank is dedicated to building narrative narrative games that focus on branching storylines and player agency.
Karpyshyn’s departure follows in the wake of a high number of BioWare talent leaving the studio, including Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw, studio general manager Aaryn Flynn, Andromeda lead writer Chris Schlerf, Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider, and Andromeda senior development director Chris Wynn.
Speculation is usually a poor way to grasp the true nature of what’s going on inside a developer, especially since talent is changing all the time, but it’s hard not to be concerned for BioWare’s future in light of Andromeda’s lackluster quality and the high number of respected names leaving the studio in a short period of time.