BioWare has lost one of its most veteran developers. James Ohlen, who had been with BioWare for 22 of the company’s 23 years of operation, has retired from the RPG studio.
In a post on Twitter, Ohlen said he “loved” his time at BioWare where he most recently worked on the new IP Anthem. As for why he’s leaving, Ohlen said, “I need to take a break from the industry and work on something a little smaller and more personal.”
After 22 years I have retired from BioWare. I’ve loved my time with Anthem, Star Wars, Dragon Age and Dungeons and Dragons. But I need to take a break from the industry and work on something a little smaller and more personal.
— James Ohlen (@JamesOhlen) July 12, 2018
In another tweet, Ohlen said the projects he had the most fun with at BioWare were Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2, for which he served as lead designer, as well as Neverwinter Nights. “I’ve been a D&D fanatic since I was 10 years old,” Ohlen said. In his post-BioWare life, Ohlen will stay in the fantasy space. He’s collaborating with another former BioWare creative director, Jesse Sky, on the book Odyssey of the Dragonlords. A “mystery” writer is also working on it.
Ohlen’s list of credits at BioWare is extensive. In addition to Anthem, he was the creative director and lead designer on Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: The Old Republic, according to GI.biz. He also worked on BioWare’s acclaimed Dragon Age franchise.
BioWare’s new game, Anthem, is coming early next year for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Unlike many other BioWare games, it’s an always-online, multiplayer-focused shooter with limited dialogue options. We saw it and played it at E3 and we came away impressed–check out the video above to learn more.
In addition to Anthem, BioWare is working on a new Dragon Age game, but it has yet to be formally announced.