KOTOR, Mass Effect lead writer Drew Karpyshyn leaves BioWare

Not because of Mass Effect: Deception.

Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect 1, has retired from BioWare and video games.

The parting was "completely amicable and 100 per cent my decision", wrote Karpyshyn on his website. (His website post didn't mention his retirement from video games as a whole, but his post on Twitter did.)

He retired to focus on writing books, "screenplays and other projects". He wants to finish the first book in his own original fantasy series, Children of Fire.

Darth Revan and Darth Malak - Karpyshyn's handywork.

Karpyshyn has a decorated career. He co-lead wrote Mass Effect 2 and, for the last three years, has been instrumental in writing Star Wars: The Old Republic.

He also helped write Jade Empire; Neverwinter Nights and expansion Hordes of the Underdark; and Baldur's Gate 2 and expansion Throne of Bhaal - his first "significant contribution" to a BioWare project.

On top of that, Karpyshyn wrote the three not-rubbish Mass Effect novels - Revelation, Ascension and Retribution; he wrote a book about KOTOR character Revan and KOTOR 2 character the Exile; he wrote a Throne of Bhaal book; and he's writing a Star Wars: The Old Republic book.

He's also written three Star Wars novels about Darth Bane, and a standalone fantasy tale called Temple Hill.

"As of last week, I have officially retired from BioWare," announced Karpyshyn.

"The story and dialogue in any BioWare game is the result of an entire team of writers working together, and I often felt I received an excessive amount of the credit for the games we created."

Drew Karpyshyn, former star BioWare writer

"I know going forward that BioWare will continue to live up to its well deserved reputation for making the best story-driven games in the industry. The story and dialogue in any BioWare game is the result of an entire team of writers working together, and I often felt I received an excessive amount of the credit for the games we created.

"The Dragon Age games and the continued success of the Mass Effect series after my departure make it pretty clear that BioWare can get along just fine without me, and I'm looking forward to experiencing the games as a fan rather than from the other side of the fence."

"I realise some of you may be shocked by this announcement. Maybe even disappointed. My identity has been closely tied with BioWare ever since I crawled into the public eye, and I know it's a risk to move away from my comfort zone.

"However," he added, "I feel that [it's] an essential step for every creative artist to take at some point. It keeps us fresh, it keeps us energised."

Karpyshyn closed by saying he has a "great appreciation" for - and "fond memories" of - his time at BioWare.


Incidentally, BioWare's lead Dragon Age writer is David Gaider, and Mass Effect 3's lead writer was Mac Walters.

Mike Laidlaw co-wrote Jade Empire with Lukas Kristjanson, who both still work at BioWare. Just saying.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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