Three TOR Developers Leaving BioWare

BioWare, specifically their Star Wars: The Old Republic team, seems to be bleeding critical personnel as of late. Last week it was announced that after a 12-year stint that saw him create Mass Effect’s lore and 3 of the tie-in novels, then move over as head writer for The Old Republic, Drew Karpyshyn is leaving BioWare. Now it seems 3 other employees are following his lead. Developers Arnie Jorgensen, Alex Thomas and John Watson, who have worked on TOR for nearly 5 years, have decided to leave in order to pursue their own project, an indie game called “The Banner Saga.”

And it sounds incredible. Described on the official site as “role-playing meets turn-based strategy, wrapped into an adventure mini-series about vikings,” it’s also meant to evoke an animation style reminiscent of classic animated films like The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, or The Last Unicorn. “Travel through stunning landscapes straight out of an animated film,” they say, “as your party escapes what could be the end of everything. Battle painstakingly hand-animated foes in strategic, turn-based combat. Make decisions with real consequences in conversations with people you’ll actually care about. Most importantly, “The Banner Saga is a mature game aimed at gamers who appreciate art, story and strategy.” Here’s a larger taste of the art:

Not gonna lie: this kind of sounds awesome. But of course, it doesn’t answer any lingering questions we might have about, yes, the timing. This is the second (or, 2,3 and 4th) high profile departure from BioWare and TOR in less than a week. Yes, it’s almost certainly a coincidence. Karpyshyn has been with the company forever and no doubt wants to try something new. And these guys will have an easier time getting their dream game made without Electronic Arts’ ‘assistance’. Still, one can’t help but wonder if there’s something else going on behind the scenes. So, GameFronters, why not wonder away. Speculate on the drama in comments.

Via Joystiq.

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8 Comments on Three TOR Developers Leaving BioWare


On February 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Yep, trouble is brewing behind the scenes.


On February 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I speculate that… these people did NOT get lightsabres ><.


On February 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm

ToR is the new kid on the block and everyone’s gonna on it regardless of what’s posted. Guess people are finally bored talking about WoW dieing for last 5 years or so. Oh wait WoW’s still alive.

Internet is a hole of pessimism.


On February 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Blizzard paying them to take a long vacation…


On February 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm

No suprise there really, The team is getting around to just how much of a challange an MMO is going to be and some are just not going to put the effort into it, I can not really blame them tho.

Bioware made some really poor decisions with SWTOR that created problems that are going to cost them dearly to fix.


On February 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Bioware games have been getting less impressive the longer they’re tethered to EA, I’d probably leave too.


On February 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Don’t speculate.


On February 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm

this happens all the time … plenty of people have defected from Blizzard over the years too …

thats good for us gamers though … they spearhead new stuff and create competition …

onward and upward !!!