Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, has announced that it’s opening a new studio in Austin, Texas, that will be headed by BioWare veteran and former creative director James Ohlen.
Ohlen left BioWare last year, ending his 22-year career at the studio where he worked on design and writing for games like Neverwinter Nights, KOTOR, Jade Empire, Dragon Age: Origins, and the Baldur’s Gate series.
“I had pretty well turned down most opportunities for interviews to get back into the industry, but I talked to Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks and he gave me a scenario that was very intriguing and interesting, so I flew up to Seattle and sat down with Wizards of the Coast for six hours of interviews,” Ohlen told Gamesindustry.biz. “It was like the scene out of The Godfather where it was an offer that was too good to refuse.”
Ohlen has a long history of working with the Dungeons & Dragons property in previous BioWare games, but what he’s working on at the new studio is a new IP altogether.
“I think it’s more personal than the projects I was working on in the latter half of my career at BioWare/EA,” Ohlen said. “The projects in the early days of BioWare were very personal to me. D&D has been a huge part of my life since I was eight years old. The Baldur’s Gate games were very personal to me, and Star Wars is another thing I love.”
For more about Ohlen’s history with BioWare and his departure from the company, read our extensive interview with him by heading here.