After seventeen years in the scribbler's hotseat, writer and designer David Gaider has left BioWare. Gaider joined the RPG-builders back in 1999, putting in some time on Baldur's Gate 2 before moving onto Knights of the Old Republic. His contributions to the Star Wars universe include snarky murderous human-hating droid HK-47 (a terrifying vision of our machine-doomed future presented as comic relief) and Carth Onasi, a sad space-man. Gaider's greatest contribution to CRPGs came as lead writer on Dragon Age: Origins, the beginning of the series that, along with Mass Effect, has come to define modern BioWare.
Full disclosure here - I had to look up Gaider's credits to see which games he'd worked on. Turns out he worked on a few games I enjoyed a great deal. If you're a fan of CRPGs, you're probably in the same boat.
I'm not a BioWare expert and the games business isn't particularly good at planting the names of its writers and designers in our minds. Gaider was well-known in the BioWare fan community though. Because that community mostly communicates online and normal rules of polite behaviour cease to apply, Gaider was on the receiving end of some harsh criticism. Whether it was an out-of-context line about dwarf sex or neglect of the core audience, Gaider's words caused a stir, both in-game and on-forum.
He was much-loved though, as the general reaction to the games he worked on shows (look, Dragon Age II is a structurally interesting narrative at the very least). There's been an outpouring of twitter-tears at the announcement of his departure as well, and when he posted that he was leaving Dragon Age to work on a new project within the studio, many DA fans expressed their dismay.
If this news about a man leaving his job voluntarily has made you worry about the security of "NEW IP", fear not. That's a normal reaction. BioWare lead producer Cameron Lee is here to put your mind at ease.
"I'm sad that @davidgaider is leaving BioWare, he'll be greatly missed! Rest assured that development on #BioWare's New IP continues unabated."