After seeing the slow decline of Bioware over the past couple of years, I could use some good news when it comes to my once favorite RPG studio, couldn’t you? Well, I have some for you! Sort of. While it is true that Bioware has promised to reinvigorate Anthem entirely and there is always news of Dragon Age 4 potentially on the horizon, what I am here to talk to you about today is more of an alternative to the original thing. Wizards of the Coast, the people behind Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, have opened up a new game studio where they have been snapping up ex-Bioware devs one after another.
The new studio is called Archetype Entertainment, and their latest acquisition is Drew Karpyshyn, one of the lead writers on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect 1 and 2. With this move, Karpyshyn will join James Ohlen, founder of Archetype and former Senior Creative Director at Bioware as well as Chad Robertson, former Studio Director at BioWare Austin and current VP and Studio General Manager of Archetype Entertainment. It seems like things are shaping up to make Archetype look like a potential new hope for RPG fans everywhere.
Per Karpyshyn’s own website:
“I’ve been in the video game industry for twenty years now. 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.
But with Archetype, my passion has been rekindled. 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.”
While details are still scarce about Archetype’s first project, we do know that they “are assembling a world-class team to build a multi-platform roleplaying game set in a new science fiction universe”. This sounds like a promising start for some of gaming’s most revered writers and creators. Let’s hope that they can pull it off and make something new that will blow us all away.