BioWare Veteran Designer James Ohlen has Departed the Studio After 22 Years

Donna Miller
July 15, 2018

BioWare has said goodbye to one of its most veteran developers as James Ohlen recently announced his retirement from the Canadian game developer. He was the lead designer on the original Baldur's Gate and has racked up design and writing credits since then on games including Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Dragon Age: Origins, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Ohlen tweeted that he wants to work on something "a little smaller and more personal" before revealing his new project. In subsequent tweets following the announcement of his departure, Ohlen said that his next project is that of a pen and paper RPG book called Odyssey of the Dragonlords.

You can only make so many career changes over the course of your life, so props to Ohlen for chasing something that has meant a lot to him since he was a kid.

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Ohlen has been a BioWare employee for 22 years, and over those two decades has had a huge hand in creating some of their biggest fantasy titles, including Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Dragon's Age: Origins and the fantastic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

As for what the future holds, Ohlen said he has been a Dungeons and Dragons fan since age 10 and wants to be part of it again.

However, the biggest takeaway from Ohlen's statements is that he, like many BioWare fans, miss the days when the company took the D&D ruleset and crafted some of the most wonderful RPG experiences that any of us will ever play. Here's hoping that Ohlen finds a way to reignite his passion once more and that he shares that work with the world.

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