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James Ohlen leaves BioWare after 22 years with the company

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Collage showing four games done by BioWare
BioWare

Even if you're not familiar with the name of James Ohlen you know him alright, what with the man having played key roles in bringing us Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Okay, maybe I shouldn't have tarnished the man's reputation by mentioning Mass Effect: Andromeda but you get the point. Coincidentally, it is just for the scale of projects like the aforementioned one that Ohlen is actually saying goodbye to BioWare and the man will be looking to test his mettle elsewhere.

Taking to twitter to speak his mind, Ohlen said that "the most fun [he's] ever had at BioWare was as the lead designer on Baldur's Gate 1+2 and Neverwinter Nights", which for your reference happened 20 years ago. He added that he needs to take a break from the industry "and work on something a little smaller and more personal". 

Self proclaimed Dungeons & Dragons fanatic, Ohlen is planning on working in his publishing house Arcanum Worlds, working on Wizards of the Coast's D&D. He already announced his next book on twitter called Odyssey of the Dragonlords.

Interestingly enough, he is working on the book with BioWare's former creative director Jesse Sky. Ohlen also mentions another name he's worked with before, prompting many to speculate it is Drew Karpyshyn, another former BioWare employee who left the studio recently.

Of course, it is unlikely that this is the last we've seen of Ohlen's writing as I suspect pen and paper will only hold him for so long, or at least I like to think so. Having spent a good part of my formative gaming years toiling away in Baldur's Gate, it would indeed be a waste.

EAA soldier in a futuristic black uniform standing in a desert.Mass Effect: Andromeda

On the other hand, even though Ohlen had a hand in Anthem as well, BioWare doesn't seem to be making the sort of games that would really do his writing justice. Not that Anthem isn't an impressive game in many respects, it's just that the company's RPGs of old are much more writer friendly.