In a post on his blog yesterday, Mass Effect's lead writer Drew Karpyshyn, who also contributed on titles such as Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: The Old Republic, has communicated he will be retiring from the game business and focus on novels and "other non-video game related projects". The man also notes that he's departing amicably from BioWare and won't sever his ties to the company:
I just got back from Vegas. Now, I don't really need an excuse to go to Vegas, but this time I had a good reason. You see, I was celebrating a major life milestone. As of last week, I have officially retired from BioWare. (I'll give all you gamers a second to let that sink in. Just to be clear, the parting was completely amicable, and 100% my decision.)
For the past twelve years I've had the privilege to work at one of the best companies in the video game industry, side by side with the most talented and incredible group of people I've ever had the good fortune to know. I've enjoyed my time at BioWare immensely, but it's time for me to move on.
I'm leaving to focus more time and energy on my novels and other non-video game related projects. But even though I'll no longer be working on games for BioWare, I'm not going to be severing all ties with them. Many of my closest friends still work at the company, and I'm also in the process of writing the next Star Wars: The Old Republic novel, though I can't say too much about it yet.
During my time at BioWare I worked on a number of beloved and award winning titles. I'm proud of everything we accomplished, and 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 dialog 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 alluded to this earlier when I was talking about ME3. That's a little writer's trick called foreshadowing.)
I realize some of you may be shocked by this announcement. Maybe even disappointed. (And others simply won't care. But it's my website, so I'm going to ramble on.) 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, I feel that's an essential step for every creative artist to take at some point. It keeps us fresh, it keeps us energized.
I'll always have fond memories of BioWare, and a great appreciation for everything it meant to me. But my future is wide open, and I can't wait to see what's in store. (Plus, now I'll have more time for golf.)