Mass Exodus: Bioware Senior Dev Joins LoL
We don't tend to do too much in the way of 'person x changes job' stories here, which is primarily because the knowledge that disgusting organic creatures are responsible for our beautiful, clean, matter-free digital worlds is a horrifying truth we can't accept, but also because... well, people do change jobs. This one stood out to me, however, due to both source and destination. The lead gameplay designer on Mass Effect 2 and 3, Christina Norman, has left Bioware - but to go where? Oh, that's right, it says it in the headline. Yeah, League of Legends dev Riot Games.
So, from a console-straddling mainstream RPG/action developer that's bigger than it's ever been to the young home of devoutly hardcore multiplayer PC games.
Of course, Riot Games is not without big names already - there's quite a cartel of Blizzard and DoTA folks there. Question is, will Christina Norman, in her new role as lead designer, be put onto League of Legends, a League of Legends sequel or something entirely different? She perhaps doesn't seem entirely suited to a ferociously competitive strategy game, but for all I know that is where her true passions lie.
However, with LoL having quietly been quite the success for Riot, it's entirely possible they're now sitting on a towering money-pile and are planning to come up with something entirely different next.
All we've got to go on is Norman's statement to Gamasutra: ""I’m looking forward to working with Riot on innovative new approaches to game design and game development in the rapidly-changing video game market."
LoL is a free to play game, interestingly - a direction the entire damned industry seems to be trying to head in at the moment. Maybe a faster-turning ship held more appeal than a big-franchise firm like Bioware?
Over in Biowaretown, Mass Effect 1 and 2 lead designer Preston Watamaniuk will take up the lead gameplay reins in Norman's stead.
Oh, and if you want a little more from Christina Norman, John interviewed her about Mass Effect 2 last year.