Mass Effect Writer, Who Left In 2012 And Then Came Back, Has Left Again

Drew Karypshyn says working at BioWare can feel "exhausting."


BioWare writer Drew Karpyshyn, who worked on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect 1, and Mass Effect 2, has left the developer for a second time. Karpyshyn originally left the esteemed RPG studio in 2012 to work on novels and other non-game projects. He returned to BioWare in 2015 and was reportedly working on the company's new IP, Anthem, until he left last week for the second time.

Writing on his blog, Karpyshyn said he's quitting BioWare this time to work on more original novels, including a sci-fi graphic novel, as well as freelance gaming work.

No Caption Provided

Karpyshyn said he will not discuss why he left BioWare, though he expects people to speculate as to why. "There is no dirty laundry I'm just waiting to air," he said. "And please don't ask about any BioWare projects I've been working on--just because I've left BioWare doesn't mean I'm going to start blabbing all their secrets."

Karpyshyn's first post-BioWare video game work will be something with FoxNextGames and developer Fogbank Entertainment. This will be an episodic narrative game that is based on an "acclaimed Fox IP," but we don't know which one.

BioWare's new IP Anthem is currently in development for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. In his statement, Karpyshyn said working at BioWare can be "exhausting."

"Everyone who works at BioWare pours their heart and soul into the games they are making. It’s creatively demanding and--at times--exhausting," he said.

Originally set to launch in 2018, Anthem is now slated for release in 2019. The delay was reportedly due in part to development issues, though EA indicated it moved the game instead to release it during a less-crowded time.

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Avatar image for rekonym

I can't see BioWare still being alive as a company under EA for more than another two or three years at the very most.

My prediction ('gut feeling'):

1) They release Anthem next year, it ends up "only decent", and under performs financially in EA's eyes.Not to mention that - of course - they screw it up once again with exaggerated grinding for those who decide not to spend money on their loot boxes to accelerate their progress, making it a chore to play more than anything else.

2) Then comes 2020, and Dragon Age 4 is either previewed (for 2021) or comes out, but still ends up rushed in a similar way to DA2, or ends up like another MMO'ish take on an open world map with fetch quests and barely-memorable characters with a very predictable story and another craptacular villain; also financially doesn't reach EA's "expectations" or goals.

3) Then EA realizes that the only thing they can do with BioWare is to risk making Anthem 2 already, risk "cancelling" any future Dragon Age games (similarly to how they "suspended" projects for the Mass Effect series), or try making a completely new IP even though their new IP (Anthem) didn't perform well anyway; they eventually decide that the best solution is to just pull the plug, because making any projects with BioWare means too much money in production and not enough in return with lower-than-expected sales; they finally close BioWare, the latest victim of EA's killing spree.

4) One or two years later, a few Ex-BioWare employees reform and make a small Indie studio and end up scavenging on Steam Early Access with their new 2D platformer.


Do I hope I'm wrong? At this point, not really, sorry. It will happen, it's just a question of time folks; don't keep your hopes (and hypes) up; we're talking about EA, they are cruel and have absolutely zero mercy for its studios. It looks like Drew Karpyshyn does expect us to speculate as to why he left. Well indeed I'll bite, too. What I think is that he was smart enough to leave before the ship gets torpedoed by EA. I mean you don't just come back to a company you left for 3 years or so only to end up leaving AGAIN that soon after; it's a definitive sign (of negativity).

It's sad though, I loved MDK2, KOTOR, DA Origins, ME1 and ME2. I do think that ME2 was their last great game.

Avatar image for hark659

@rekonym : From a friend who is working at Bioware in Edmonton says Bioware is just an illusion now. Pretty much all original writers are gone from 2013. So Bioware is just a sticker for EA to make money for their pocket. Would be nice if original members create new company like CD Projekt and make new project.

Avatar image for VakarianGirl

@rekonym: Sad though it is to say, I would bank money on your predictions.

Avatar image for ember_to_flame

I still have hopes for the future games, I remember ME1 had alooooooooooooooooot of issues and retarded bugs and gameplay wise no good at all, pretty much only the story was good, then they released the masterpiece me2 and me3 too. I didnt hate andromeda at all, but it wasn't what id hoped, but it definitely has the potential start of a great new saga, I have real high hopes for the next game.

Anthem looks amazing too so no worries yet, that dude rather go for episodic games then the future of bioware, its cool but very tiresome that so many games have episodes, i hate to wait, I want the entire game at once on release.

Avatar image for cboye18

Smart man. As for Bioware, I don't care what happens to it at this point. They don't have neither the talent nor the right publisher to execute a well-made single-player RPG.

Hopefully we get to see Obsidian Studios make a full-fledged AAA RPG one day.

Avatar image for BAKGRIND

@cboye18: I'm a little late to the party, but thought I would comment any way. It's true. Bioware is no longer the Rock Star of gaming that they once were. And have really burned through a lot of banked goodwill from their fans as well. Their creative genius has long since left them. What's interesting is that they really don't know what their fans want or that they don't care and that they know better. And the latter is worst.

Avatar image for moonco

Bioware is like Rare - all the talent left years ago

Avatar image for legendaryh1tman

This is GOOD and BAD news.

Good that the devs are leaving a sinking ship.

Bad that yeah, Bioware under current state of gaming is a sinking ship on a collision course with it's inevitable death under EA.

Good luck devs and hopefully more leave this vile greedy publisher we call EA. Who ever is in-charge of EA should of been let go a long time ago. I think all that money from the Sports games have blind EA's judgement.

Avatar image for MMX377

Mass Effect series is dead... but is alive for a continuous novel story of ME:A.

Avatar image for justmo

I'm really excited for this project!... Yeah I'm lying.

Avatar image for TheDarkNut

Future looks grim for Anthem and Bioware. If it flops, EA might totally kill BioWare. Which is sad, i am looking forward in killing an egghead in Dragon Age 4.

Avatar image for bigdavex

@TheDarkNut: I don't think it's a question of "if" at this point, just whether it flops bad enough to kill BioWare straight away, or whether they'll last long enough to produce a horrible butched DA4, which will finish them off completely.

Avatar image for kyacat

@TheDarkNut: Guess we can say good bye to Dragon age 4

Avatar image for Barighm

He probably just said "F**k it" and bailed before the shit hit the fan.

Avatar image for N0madS0uL

@Barighm: More like **** it the second time after the shit has continually hit the fan, afterall BioWare are just puppets to the great evil EA

Avatar image for drasthemass

@nibbin1191: Sorry but you do have to blame EA. There current focus is micro-transactions. They don't want to release single player games because it is harder to sell there cosmetic BS. Just look at ME: Andromada. No single player DLC but constant multiplayer updates long after they said they would not support it anymore.

Avatar image for N0madS0uL

@nibbin1191: I get that yes, thats the result maybe of EAs politics also

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

Brought him back specifically for Anthem, and now he's bailing out. Sounds so promising for Anthem. Another EA disaster.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien

Guess he realized Bioware was a sinking ship. If Anthem flops, that's the final nail in the coffin for them.

Avatar image for PSYCHOV3N0M

@xenomorphalien: "If Anthem flops, that's the final nail in the coffin for them."

Many have said the same thing regarding Mass Effect Andromeda.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien

@PSYCHOV3N0M: True, but now that they soiled a great franchise like Mass Effect, morality and expectations are low for Bioware at this point. One more dud and you can bet EA's gonna leave them in the ditch along with the other studios they axed.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

Honestly wouldn't be surprised if we are unfortunately witnessing the death of Bioware, the alternative is Bioware only making shooters like Anthem instead of RPG's... Which is sad considering their past work ME1, ME2 and Dragon Age Origins are up there on my list of favourite games of all time.

Avatar image for genji_shimada

@gamingdevil800: Bioware has been dead for a long time. It is now a machine pumping out profits for EA, a former husk of what it used to be.

I should know.

Avatar image for Erebus

EA likes to ride the hype train in fog thicker than N64 games. As a result, they keep crashing. Their core competency is creating and publishing licensed sports games. Their primary business function is marketing investment return.

Their resulting products are Something Horrible I Think.

Avatar image for nabinator

I'm guessing it will be just like Destiny. Destiny burned Bungie's greatest writer - Joseph Staten. It also did the same to the musical composer behind some of Halo's greatest themes

Avatar image for PrpleTrtleBuBum

@nabinator: Well both Joe and Drew were used to the era when studios consisted of a dozen people, and the work routine was more like "we have ideas, let's try do something with them"

Modern conveyor belt production has burnt out a lot of people. For artists it's like the anti-thesis of optimal

Avatar image for nabinator

@PrpleTrtleBuBum: Very true. The gaming industry doesn't seem like a good place to work these days, whether its in the West or East (Japan). Not for big business anyway, where now anyone is expendable

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies

That's one generic screenshot. This better be PP2P. Pay Player To Play.

Avatar image for N0madS0uL

@asnakeneverdies: With their most recent bullshit in Battlefront 2, they may have to pay some players to play it :D The saddest thing about it all is that while most people know what sharks EA games are, the masses will no doubt still line EA's pockets for them. Idiots...

Avatar image for so_hai

Pay dispute. That's all it ever is.

Avatar image for mrdinghat

This game has disaster written all over it.

Avatar image for playstationzone

The game not going be any good since be loot box’s in game . I don’t care how good game is .

Avatar image for matricks_

*insert typical "Bioware is dead" comment here*

Figured I'd get this comment section started on it's usual track.

Avatar image for N0madS0uL

@matricks_: here I am wondering if any of these forums really matter, I mean EA just wipes their asses on our opinions. I don't know even why we post our opinions or concerns, they only care about money and by extension subsidiaries like BioWare suffer also

Avatar image for restatbonfire

Do you guys even proof read before posting your articles? Such sloppy journalism.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b5dcc8ab71f9

@restatbonfire: You're one of "those" guys huh... Why don't you put in your résumé if you're more qualified.

Avatar image for restatbonfire

@fivepercent: Sure. & You can pull it out my ass first

Avatar image for deactivated-5b5dcc8ab71f9

@restatbonfire: I just made a suggestion and you insult me. On second thought you may not be mature enough to work at Gamespot as a journalist

Avatar image for restatbonfire

@fivepercent: mature enough to work at gamespot? They can’t even spell so maybe so.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b5dcc8ab71f9

@restatbonfire: What does spelling have to do with maturity?

Avatar image for Erebus

I guess I'm the first person to actually read this article. I wonder when the author will get around to it....

Avatar image for The_Inebriator

@Erebus: Cut Eddie a break. I’m sure he hast it for an editor to check.