BioWare’s Success Made the Studio “More Corporate,” Says Writer

“We were less able to make what we loved,” says former BioWare man Drew Karpyshun.

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Drew Karpyshyn, one of the best writers in the industry right now, spent a lot of fruitful years at BioWare, helping the studio write some truly incredible stories. From the likes of Baldur’s Gate 2 and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 to Jade Empire and Mass Effect 1 and 2, Karpyshyn worked on some of BioWare’s best games. In 2018, he ended his second spell at the studio and left, Anthem being the last game he worked on.

Recently, he announced that he’d joined a new studio, Archetype Entertainment – an internal studio of Wizards of the Coast headed up by former BioWare staff James Ohlen and Chad Robertson – and in his update, he also had a few things to say about his former studio.

“I’m proud to announce that I’m the lead writer for Archetype Entertainment,” Karpyshyn wrote. “Founded by James Ohlen – the creative genius behind BioWare hits like Baldur’s Gate, KOTOR and Dragon Age – Archetype is a new video game studio under the Wizards of the Coast umbrella… and I haven’t been this excited to work on a project in a long, long time!”

Karpyshyn went on to speak briefly about his time at BioWare, saying that as the studio grew more successful, it also became more corporate, and that ultimately, they were “pushed to create games based on market research rather than our creative instincts and passions.”

“I’ve been in the video game industry for twenty years now,” he wrote. “When I started at BioWare, everything was fresh and exciting. It was a dream job – talented people working together to create epic games like Baldur’s Gate, KOTOR, Mass Effect and Dragon Age. But as we grew and became more successful, things changed. We became more corporate. We were less able to make what we loved, and the teams were pushed to create games based on market research rather than our creative instincts and passions. My dream job became just a job, and I lost the enthusiasm and excitement I once had.”

Karpyshyn went on to write that joining Archetype has “rekindled” his passion, and that being at the studio feels like the early days of BioWare.

“But with Archetype, my passion has been rekindled,” he wrote. “The feel in the studio reminds me of my early days at BioWare; I can feel the magic in the air. And even though I can’t get too deep into the specifics of what we’re working on yet, we’re already generating plenty of excitement in the industry.”

“I know we have big shoes to fill,” he added. “With BioWare, I was part of a legacy that will endure forever. We created some of the most beloved CRPGs of the past two decades. But I truly believe at Archetype we have the talent and the opportunity to do something just as amazing!”

Archetype Entertainment are currently working on sci-fi cRPG. Details on the game are scant, but we’re hoping we’ll be hearing more about it in the near future.

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