Last year, D&D & Magic The Gathering publishers Wizards Of The Coast hired James Ohlen to head up a new studio. He was the creative director/lead designer on Dragon Age: Origins and Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, so naturally I am tracking his movements. We now know a teensy bit more about Archetype Entertainment’s debut project, which will be 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”.
Those are big, familiar words, but that’s also a big name to back them up. Wizards have nabbed BioWare Austin studio director Chad Robertson, too.
The promise of meaningful consequences gets thrown around a lot, but Ohlen has helped chuck the real deal at us in the past. He was also the lead designer of Neverwinter Nights, Baldur’s Gate and Star Wars: The Old Republic, so he’s got pedigree. He also worked on Mass Effect, so I’m intrigued to see him help dream up something new. Wizards Of The Coast have also got their mitts on Chad Robertson, who was head of live services on Anthem, on top of being BioWare Austin’s studio director. He’ll be vice president and studio general manager at Archetype.
Archetype’s website doubles and triples down on the whole “impactful choices” deal, while also mentioning that they’re “building games that represent the diversity of our audience. “
I am definitely up for a big decisioney space game. The years since Mass Effect 3 have been hard. I liked Mass Effect: Andromeda more than most, but it still felt like it was trying to do everything its forerunner did and getting it all a bit wrong. A properly new and fresh sci-fi epic with old-school BioWare charm is a happy prospect indeed.