Mass Effect lead writer Drew Karpyshyn joins ex-BioWare vets' new Wizards of the Coast studio

Is working on story-driven sci-fi RPG.

Back in January, Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast unveiled Archetype Entertainment, a new video game development studio particularly notable for the fact that it's being helmed by two ex-BioWare veterans - and now Mass Effect 1 and 2 lead writer Drew Karpyshyn has confirmed that he's joined the team too.

Archetype's studio head is former BioWare creative director and lead designer James Ohlen - who previously worked on the likes of Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - while another BioWare alumni, Chad Robertson, will be vice president and general manager. Karpyshyn, who left BioWare for the second time in March 2018, joins the Austin, Texas studio as lead writer.

Fans of BioWare's classic output were already intrigued when Archetype Entertainment revealed it's first title would be a new story-driven sci-fi RPG; couple that with the news its lead writer will be the man behind Mass Effect 1 and 2 - and who also has an enviable resume featuring the likes of Baldur's Gate, Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age - and that excitement is likely to raise a few notches higher.

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Tantalising art from Archetype's new website.

Announcing his new position at Archetype in a post on his blog, Karpyshyn wrote, "When I started at BioWare, everything was fresh and exciting. It was a dream job - talented people working together to create epic games like Baldur's Gate, KOTOR, Mass Effect and Dragon Age. But as we grew and became more successful, things changed. We became more corporate. We were less able to make what we loved, and the teams were pushed to create games based on market research rather than our creative instincts and passions. My dream job became just a job, and I lost the enthusiasm and excitement I once had.

"But with Archetype, my passion has been rekindled. The feel in the studio reminds me of my early days at BioWare; I can feel the magic in the air. And even though I can't get too deep into the specifics of what we're working on yet, we're already generating plenty of excitement in the industry. I know we have big shoes to fill. With BioWare, I was part of a legacy that will endure forever. We created some of the most beloved CRPGs of the past two decades. But I truly believe at Archetype we have the talent and the opportunity to do something just as amazing!".

Although Archetype's first project is still largely shrouded in mystery, it's confirmed to be a "multi-platform roleplaying game set in a new science fiction universe". And we can perhaps glean a few additional hints from the company's mission statement, which reads, "We believe there will always be a place for story-driven roleplaying games that put the player at the center of an epic personal narrative with impactful choices. We are building games that represent the diversity of our audience." Hopefully it won't be long before the team is ready to reveal more.

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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