James Ohlen, veteran game designer, is leaving BioWare after 22 years to work on a new venture, according to a tweet from Ohlen himself.
Ohlen was the lead designer and creative director for several notable projects at BioWare and EA, and worked on “Anthem,” “Dragon Age: Origins,” “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic,” and others, though he notes that the most fun he had with BioWare was working as a lead designer on “Baldur’s Gate” series and “Neverwinter Nights,” which are both based in the Dungeons and Dragons universe.
After 22 years I have retired from BioWare. I've loved my time with Anthem, Star Wars, Dragon Age and Dungeons and Dragons. But I need to take a break from the industry and work on something a little smaller and more personal.
— James Ohlen (@JamesOhlen) July 12, 2018
Ohlen tweeted that he wants to work on something “a little smaller and more personal” before revealing his new project. He then shared a new Twitter account for Arcanum Worlds, with a tweet revealing the book he is at work on, “Odyssey of the Dragonlords,” the fifth edition of the sourcebook for Dungeons and Dragons, which the tweet simply refers to as “the world’s greatest roleplaying game.”
“I’ve been a D&D fanatic since I was 10 years old and I want to be a part of it again,” Ohlen wrote.
Ohlen is wokring on the book with another former creative director of BioWare, Jesse Sky. Sky worked on the “Star Wars: The Old Republic” MMORPG and subsequent expansion packs for the game, Galactic Strongholds, Shadow of Revan, and Knights of the Fallen Empire.
Ohlen and Sky are working along with a mystery contributor whom the Arcanum Worlds website simply refers to as “a very talented writer” who is also living in Austin, Texas.