Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer on Mass Effect, has just announced that he’s leaving BioWare once again. Karpyshyn originally worked on the Mass Effect trilogy at BioWare before leaving in 2012, rejoining in 2015 to help with writing for EA MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. He then moved onto the Anthem team, but three years later he's left once again, roughly a year before Anthem is due to launch.
“I know a lot of you are wondering why I’m doing this. For many people, working at BioWare would be their dream job and they can’t imagine anyone stepping away from it. But it was time for me to move on,” Karpyshyn said.
“Everyone who works at BioWare pours their heart and soul into the games they are making. It’s creatively demanding and – at times – exhausting. In the past, I’ve managed to juggle outside projects with my work at BioWare, but it always took a toll. And there were always outside projects I had to pass on because they would represent a conflict of interest with BioWare or EA properties.”
Following Karpyshyn’s departure, BioWare general manager Casey Hudson has reassured fans that there’s no need to panic - his exit won’t impact Anthem’s development in any fashion. In a tweet to fans, Hudson made it clear that Anthem is a narrative-driven game, and story-focused games are what BioWare will continue to be known for.
“Story will always be an important part of every BioWare game,” wrote Hudson. “Drew has wrapped up his work on the project, but Anthem’s Lead Writers and their teams continue to do amazing work developing the world, story, and characters.”
There’s always been the worry that BioWare would eschew a traditional story in favour of some light co-op hijinks, so it’s reassuring to hear that BioWare is at least attempting to do it justice.
Anthem is currently poised to launch in early 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We’ve seen precious little of the game since its reveal at E3 last year, but it appears as if it’s all hands on deck at BioWare to get Anthem out and allow the studio to recover from the high-profile failure of Mass Effect Andromeda.