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Former SWTOR BioWare Dev Hired for New Wizards of the Coast Studio & IP

By Suzie Ford on April 24, 2019 | News | 0

Former BioWare and Star Wars: The Old Republic developer James Ohlen has been hired by Wizards of the Coast to head up a new development studio. Ohlen was also instrumental as lead designer and creative director on Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate. After he left BioWare in July 2018, Ohlen was working in the tabletop gaming industry at his studio, Arcanum Worlds. The new WotC studio will be located in Austin and will "focus on the creation of a new intellectual property".

It appears that Ohlen's team will not be working on Dungeons & Dragons or Magic: the Gathering properties, but on something completely new.

WotC President Chris Cocks said, "James is probably responsible for half of my favorite games of all time, so we’re giving him space to imagine new worlds and characters that he’d like to explore. Whether that’s RPGs, novels, board games, video games — we think James is the perfect choice to build new brands outside of our core franchises — Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering."

Ohlen said of the new venture, "My plan was to spend several years away from the industry and just focus on doing the books. And they really impressed me with the culture. … They were offering me an opportunity to come to work on the kind of personal projects that reminded me of my first five years through decade at BioWare."

According to Cocks, the company made the decision not to use D&D or MtG as it wants to "build off the strength of those brands and develop new content and experiences that will allow fans to experience them in many more ways". 

We'll be keeping eyes on the studio to see what kind of game is in the works. Hopefully, we'll know soon.

Read the full article over at GamesBeat.com.


Suzie Ford

Suzie is the former Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom