Influential BioWare writer Drew Karpyshyn has left BioWare for a second time. He's leaving to pursue personal projects and to work with 21st Century Fox's expanding gaming division FoxNext, and new studio Fogbank Entertainment.
Fogbank is 20-person studio in San Francisco run by another former BioWare member, Daniel Erickson, a founder of BioWare Austin and the Star Wars: The Old Republic team. He worked at BioWare for several years before leaving in 2012. Former Bioware lead writer Alex Freed is also at Fogbank. Freed left BioWare in 2012.
Drew Karpyshyn was the lead writer of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect 1 and 2. Karpyshyn left BioWare in 2012 to write his Chaos Born trilogy of fantasy novels before returning to the studio in 2015. He had been working on BioWare's big new online sci-fi shooter Anthem, which will launch spring 2019.
"I know a lot of you are wondering why I'm doing this," Karpyshyn wrote on his website. "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.
"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.
"So I made the decision to step back (again) and focus on my freelance work. I'd love to say more about the novel(s) I'm working on, or my graphic novel project, but those details will have to wait a while.
"I'm sure people will read more into this statement than there really is," he added, "but there's not much I can do about that. I know some people are going to dwell on the past, but that's not my style. I'm looking to a bright future, and I hope at least some of you will enjoy where this journey leads!"
Karpyshyn said he was "very excited" to be part of the Fogbank team but couldn't say what he's working on.
VentureBeat's Fogbank announcement story said the studio's debut project will be an episodic, narrative game based on Fox IP.
"Fogbank is going to help us to develop an interactive storytelling platform that allows us to expand on Fox's catalogue of entertainment while also developing new, unique fiction," FoxNext's president of studios Aaron Loeb said. "Narrative and story-driven games continue to rank among the top grossing and most downloaded games across industry standards, and we're assembling a team of people dedicating to furthering the form."
Sounds a bit like the Telltale style of episodic story games. But which Fox IP will it be? Something Alien related? Something Simpsons? Something, um, Home Alone?