Dragon Age, Mass Effect Veteran Mike Laidlaw Leaves BioWare After 14 Years

Mike Laidlaw is out of BioWare.

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Mike Laidlaw, a BioWare veteran who worked on Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and most recently served as the creative director for the Dragon Age franchise, has left the company. Laidlaw had been with BioWare for the past 14 years.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Laidlaw said, "It's with a mix of emotions that I'm announcing my time with BioWare has ended. After 14 years and a chance to work on Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and all things Dragon Age, it's time for me to move on."

No Caption Provided

Regarding Dragon Age specifically, Laidlaw said he has "every confidence that the world we've created together is in good hands and I'm excited for the road ahead."

Laidlaw did not give any specifics about what's next for him, apart from saying he "plan[s] to spend [his] time reconnecting with all the amazing games and worlds that my peers have created." Laidlaw added that he plans to stream himself playing games on Twitch and connect with fans on Twitter.

"To everyone who's taken the time to share feedback and experiences, your amazing cosplays and artistic creations: thank you. You've made my time 'in Thedas' amazing. Your passion inspires and I look forward to our next adventure together."

It is not immediately clear if Laidlaw's departure from BioWare was by his own choosing. We're following up with BioWare studio owner EA in an attempt to learn more.

In June this year, Laidlaw confirmed that "something is happening" with the Dragon Age franchise, though he stopped short of making any kind of announcement. At the time, he also teased that BioWare is working on secret projects he couldn't talk about.

Mass Effect producer Michael Gamble said goodbye to Laidlaw on Twitter. The wording of tweet suggests that Laidlaw's departure was not as part of a layoff, though this is not confirmed. "Best to you in everything, Mike. We will miss you, but I admire you for taking the leap, and you can count me as one of your supporters," Gamble said.

Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah also chimed in. In his own tweet, Darrah expressed his gratitude to Laidlaw and said he's eager to show Laidlaw what the next Dragon Age is. "Mike... Thank you for everything. We will see each other again. I am so excited for you to see what the next Dragon Age will be," he said.

The most recent mainline Dragon Age game was 2014's Dragon Age: Inquisition, which won multiple Game of the Year awards. Given the stature of that franchise, and the fact that it held the record for the "most successful launch in BioWare history" at the time, it would be surprising if EA didn't make some kind of sequel.

Mike Laidlaw Bio:

Laidlaw joined BioWare in February 2003 as a lead story developer and writer for Jade Empire. He worked in the same role for an unannounced game. He also worked on Mass Effect and Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. In November 2008, Laidlaw became the lead designer for Dragon Age: Origins. He was promoted to creative director for the Dragon Age franchise in 2009, working on Dragon Age II and then Dragon Age: Inquisition. Laidlaw was promoted to senior creative director for the Dragon Age franchise in June 2017.

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Riddick123

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Andromeda probably broke his soul

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BAKGRIND

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The news is not really to surprising at all. But wishing him all the best for his future endeavors as well as the series of Dragon Age.

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lionheartssj1

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Sad to see him go, but it's pretty apparent Bioware has been hamstrung since EA bought them. Wish him the best.

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zedetach

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Edited By zedetach

The only time a company would suffer from the lost of an employee is if his name is Hideo Kojima.

2 • 
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KamiNoBeniMizu

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Edited By KamiNoBeniMizu

@zedetach: As if Kojima was the only legend in the industry. *Tsk tsk*

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mdinger

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Edited By mdinger

Probably found out EA demanded the next Dragon Age must include RNG pay to win lootboxes in its core design and decided it was time to join Larian, Obsidian or CD Project Red.

8 • 
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PCsama

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@mdinger: well said ;)

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ahpuck

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Thanks for Jade Empire and the first Dragon's Age, other than that. . meh.

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Danku_chan

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Am I the only one who thought he already left? I could have sworn I read an article about it last year.

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BigDaveX

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Edited By BigDaveX

@danku_chan: You're probably thinking of David Gaider, who was the lead writer on the series until last year.

2 • 
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Matricks_

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Edited By Matricks_

In after the drama queens.

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IndoJimbo

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I knew Bioware was over when Muzyka and Zeschuk sold off to EA and then retired shortly after their obligations were completed.

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Drkr_Zen

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RIP BioWare

February, 1995 - March, 2017

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@Drkr_Zen: Oh, is BioWare dead again? Well, I'm sure this time it's for real, and not like all the many, many other times gamers on the internet have said they're dead.

4 • 
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comethadone

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@Mogan Bioware died in 2007. They just make a very good job to hide the smell.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@comethadone: I can't agree. I enjoyed Mass Effect 2 and 3 as much as anything they'd made prior to 2007.

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MMX377

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Edited By MMX377

So it is safe to say that Mass Effect franchise is... dead?

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Riddick123

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@MMX377: Andromeda should have been the first clue :)

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FreeRyu

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Edited By FreeRyu

@MMX377: They said its on ice or something, so yeah dead.

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Barighm

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EA Edmonton? Not CD Projekt or Larian or Obsidian? Yeah, sure whatever.

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RicanV

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RicanV  Moderator

It's a good thing he wasn't LAID off.

(•_•)

( •_•)>⌐■-■

(⌐■_■)

Boom.

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gamingdevil800

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@RicanV: Hes off to get LAID now.

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xHOJUx

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The only halfway decent Dragon Age is the first one, and when you compare it to something like Divinity Original Sin or Pillars of Eternity it just can't compete despite it probably costing like ten times as much to make. Dragon Age Inquisition is an outright terrible game, just a plodding horribly written piece of crap that is almost entirely filler. Some new blood can't really hurt at this point.

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thecatsix

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@xHOJUx: Such truth, DA: I shocked me at how truly awful it was compared to Origins.

Never seen such a vast land devoid of anything of interest besides picking herbs.

Yay, a herb picking simulator.

I think it is too late for new blood.

4 • 
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Riddick123

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@thecatsix: All the characters were ugly AF in DA:I. Just my 2 cents.

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MJ12-Conspiracy

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@xHOJUx: on PC DAO was amazing but most players played it on consoles which was one of the worst experiences ever, it's like yeah the story is there, the character is there but gods was it a sh**t show on consoles but on PC it just worked cus it was designed to be played like classic D&D games Bioware had made.....

DA 2 was horrible in every way, DAI was a step in the right direction, gameplay was fun but quests sucked, if they could find the balance, keep DAI's gameplay and make the quests better they'd have another amazing game but I no longer trust Bioware for that......Andromeda proved that to me....

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streamline

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@MJ12-Conspiracy: DAO worked fine for me on PS3. Controls worked fine once you learn to use the interface and I missed it after playing it on PC. DAI was awful and was stripped of tactics.

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MJ12-Conspiracy

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Edited By MJ12-Conspiracy

@streamline: so it worked fine for you, well bravo for you, I despised the game on consoles....NO, don't misunderstand, the story and characters were good but the gameplay sucked, I picked up on the UI fine it's just that it sucked ass....and it's also why I haven't pulled the trigger on stuff like Wasteland 2 on console cus IDK if the UI is any good....how could it be?? it's a similar game to DAO.....

and DAI who needs tactics when you can just hang back and let followers rush ahead??? as an archer OMG rain silent death on the battlefield from afar as the warriors beat the piss out of enemies....sound tactics to me.....

and they did have a tactics interface in DAI but nobody uses it.....oops and the story in DAI was decent especially since it had to clean up DA2's mess.....lol

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streamline

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Edited By streamline

@MJ12-Conspiracy: your archer attack is more about strategy than tactics. Also, just because DAI has something called a tactical mode, doesn't mean it has any real/good tactical gameplay options.

No comment on DA2.

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Barighm

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@xHOJUx: And this is why I wonder why some people think microtransactions and DLC are good things for gaming. Clearly great games can be made on smaller budgets, so all this crap about games needing to cost more is just bull.

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DaVillain-

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Edited By DaVillain-  Moderator  Online

It was time to leave the sunken ship.

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videogameninja

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Not a good sign at all.

-SINKING SHIP? NINJA APPROVED-

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

@videogameninja: Oh, it ain't sinking. It fully sunk ages ago, like, sucked into a maelstrom and dragged to the depths of the deepest seas sunk.

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videogameninja

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@Barighm: LMAO!!!

-BERMUDA TRIANGLE NINJA APPROVED-

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MJ12-Conspiracy

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@videogameninja: >report USS Bioware was lost in 2005 with all hands but mothership EA kept the crew alive long enough to squeeze every last drop of creativity out of em, the ship was found adrift early in 2017, the mystery remains what happened??

mismanagement seems the most likely cause for this tragic *snickers* turn of events.....

what's this?? this just in the USS Bioware has the national Anthem playing on the loudspeaker adding to the creepy factor....this lifeless ship sits abandoned with the Anthem playing....what life existed is now a faded memory....

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videogameninja

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@MJ12-Conspiracy: LOL!

Love the anthem reference thrown in.

-MJ12-CONSPIRACY APPROVED-

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gamingdevil800

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Edited By gamingdevil800

Oh shit this is a bad sign. Usually I wouldn't be worried about people leaving but look at all the important people who left before Mass Effect Andromeda came out...

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streamline

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Edited By streamline

@gamingdevil800: Ah, so it is the fault of the people who left that ruined MEA. Those jerks. )/k

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