Writer Drew Karpyshyn has returned to BioWare. He left in 2012 - I interviewed him after his departure - to concentrate on his Chaos Born trilogy of fantasy books and, now that they're complete, he's decided to return.
Karpyshyn is one of BioWare's most highly decorated writers. He was lead writer on Mass Effect 1 & 2 and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and influenced many more projects besides. Most recently he worked on Star Wars: The Old Republic at BioWare Austin, Texas, and it's back there he finds himself now.
"As of this past week, I am back working at BioWare again!" Karpyshyn announced on his blog. "For those who don't know, I spent over a decade with BioWare working on many award winning and fan-beloved games like Mass Effect 1&2, Knights of the Old Republic and the Star Wars: The Old Republic Online MMO. A few years ago I left BioWare to focus on my Chaos Born novels, but now that the trilogy is finished, I've decided to come back into the fold. But for those of you who love my novels, don't worry - I'll still be writing more of those, too!
"Working at BioWare was a challenging but very rewarding job, and it's good to be back as part of the team. The thing I missed most about BioWare was the amazing people I got to work with, and luckily for me many of them are still there! I suspect a lot of folks are going to wonder if this means BioWare is about to announce a new project tied to my return. The short answer: no. I originally came to the Austin studio many years ago to work on SWTOR and - at least for now - that's what I'm focusing on again."
Star Wars: The Old Republic undergoes a significant tonal shift late October with the launch of expansion Knights of the Fallen Empire. This focuses heavily on cinematic single-player storytelling - the sort of thing BioWare as a company is renowned for. The expansion casts your character as the Outlander, and lays down the start of a story that will see you decide the fate of the galaxy. The story starts at level 60 and you can boost to it.
It's as if, in other words, BioWare is launching a new Star Wars single-player game but within an MMO framework. And it's here Karpyshyn's expertise will be invaluable. Karpyshyn has also written some deliciously Dark Side Star Wars novels of his own, particularly the Darth Bane trilogy.
Beyond that, who knows? BioWare has a new IP in development at Edmonton (Canada) HQ, and Mass Effect 4 in development in Montreal (Canada). Both studios are a long way from SWTOR in Texas, US.