Wizards of the Coast is launching a games studio from Ex-BioWare folks

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rorie

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#1 rorie  Staff

It sure sounds like they want to make Mass Effect?

Ohlen, head of studio, has served as creative director and lead designer on BioWare games such as Baldur’s Gate, Dragon Age, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Robertson was also previously at BioWare Austin, where he served as head of technology and studio director. Robertson was head of live services for BioWare’s Anthem before leaving the studio in November. He’ll serve as vice president and studio general manager at Archetype.

Archetype’s debut project is described as a multi-platform role-playing game “set in an all-new science fiction universe that will send players on a story-driven epic where choices they make will have real consequences on how their story unfolds.” The property will be set outside of the D&D and Magic franchises.

I know Hasbro has been dumping money into Wizards over the past couple of years and expects a sizable increase in revenue from them, obviously from the Magic properties, but also I guess from video games beyond the usual D&D ports (which seem to be slowing down aside from junky mobile games?). It sounds like the new studio has some pedigree behind it, but I have a feeling that we won't be hearing about any projects from them for a few years. Still, always nice to hear about studios forming instead of shutting down or laying off a million people.

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nutter

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Hopefully this is pre-shit-the-bed Bioware.

I’d love to see them make a great “one of those” and then evolve things with a second title.

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Relkin

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#3  Edited By Relkin

I hope they're looking to make something like KOTOR or DA: Origins with this project they have planned. I've been really happy with the wealth of more traditional, isometric style camera CRPGs we've been getting over the last several years, but a good Bioware-in-it's-hey-day style CRPG really hits the spot. I've been trying to play DA: Inquisition lately, and it's just not doing it for me. The combat seems atrocious, even with a gamepad; intolerable with M/K.

But regardless of who they're pulling to make this studio, it's an untested group. All anyone can really do at this stage is hope they make something good/interesting.

Also, bets on if Avellone gets pulled for this? I seem to recall him voicing interest in wanting to make a KOTOR 3 at some point. This could potentially be the closest we ever get to one.

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TheRealTurk

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Meaningful choices - "You can now choose the Taupe Ending!"

Also having anyone from the Anthem management team involved doesn't exactly give me a great deal of faith in the leadership component of the studio? I know that the leadership team got shuffled around a ton during development and the actual service was kind of the least of that game's problems, but still . . .

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BladeOfCreation

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INJECT THIS SHIT INTO MY FUCKING VEINS.

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MezZa

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You had me at Baldurs Gate, Dragon Age, and Neverwinter Nights.

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Pezen

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I'm certainly curious, but a few ex-Bioware people isn't enough to give me a ton of confidence given recent events. However, I am always curious about games that are using choice in an rpg setting, not to mention the actual setting being sci-fi. So I'll have to keep this on my radar one way or the the other.

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MonkeyKing1969

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The pen and paper version of D&D has had a huge upsurge in the past few years. Some of that is 5 ed and some of that is just the internet, Youtube, and podcasts (nerd feeding troughs) making D&D more visible. But, this bubble will burst too because every industry is cyclical. I hope Wizards is not over extending itself. I would love to see more games, more video games , and more card games from them; but I just hope they don't get upside down on bank loan as they expand & grow.

With that said, I think some video games and some new blood is never bad. Do I think ex-Bioware people are especially note worthy or good - not really. But, hey let's see what they make.

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ArbitraryWater

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@monkeyking1969: There was some recent quote from a Wizards of the Coast executive talking about how they had at least "six or seven" D&D game projects in some form of development, so they're definitely trying to make the property relevant in the video game space again. Half of that could be mobile stuff for all I know, but the fact that they finally gave the greenlight to make a video game called "Baldur's Gate III" alongside the Magic MMO and this new studio announcement suggests they're going for it. (Never mind that they hung Beamdog out to dry a few years ago because shitty people got mad about Siege of Dragonspear)

I definitely do have concerns about this current tabletop boom not being sustainable, but I feel like a lot of that will depend on when and how they approach a hypothetical "D&D 6th Edition"

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wollywoo

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Neat! Looking forward to this. I hope that now that they are unchained from Bioware / EA they can have some artistic freedom. I'd like to see more studios scale back from having to put out cutting-edge visuals and focus more on tight gameplay and relatable storytelling. Here's hoping they go top-down CRPG.

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Onemanarmyy

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Will be interesting to see whether Spiders or this new crew will be the first to make something in this vein that truly hits with the mainstream audience. Greedfall already had me nodding along like okay.. this is not too shabby Spiders! Maybe next time.