Mike Laidlaw, a BioWare veteran who worked on Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and most recently served as the creative director for the Dragon Age franchise, has left the company. Laidlaw had been with BioWare for the past 14 years.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Laidlaw said, “It’s with a mix of emotions that I’m announcing my time with BioWare has ended. After 14 years and a chance to work on Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and all things Dragon Age, it’s time for me to move on.”
Regarding Dragon Age specifically, Laidlaw said he has “every confidence that the world we’ve created together is in good hands and I’m excited for the road ahead.”
Laidlaw did not give any specifics about what’s next for him, apart from saying he “plan[s] to spend [his] time reconnecting with all the amazing games and worlds that my peers have created.” Laidlaw added that he plans to stream himself playing games on Twitch and connect with fans on Twitter.
“To everyone who’s taken the time to share feedback and experiences, your amazing cosplays and artistic creations: thank you. You’ve made my time ‘in Thedas’ amazing. Your passion inspires and I look forward to our next adventure together.”
It is not immediately clear if Laidlaw’s departure from BioWare was by his own choosing. We’re following up with BioWare studio owner EA in an attempt to learn more.
In June this year, Laidlaw confirmed that “something is happening” with the Dragon Age franchise, though he stopped short of making any kind of announcement. At the time, he also teased that BioWare is working on secret projects he couldn’t talk about.
Mass Effect producer Michael Gamble said goodbye to Laidlaw on Twitter. The wording of tweet suggests that Laidlaw’s departure was not as part of a layoff, though this is not confirmed. “Best to you in everything, Mike. We will miss you, but I admire you for taking the leap, and you can count me as one of your supporters,” Gamble said.
Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah also chimed in. In his own tweet, Darrah expressed his gratitude to Laidlaw and said he’s eager to show Laidlaw what the next Dragon Age is. “Mike… Thank you for everything. We will see each other again. I am so excited for you to see what the next Dragon Age will be,” he said.
The most recent mainline Dragon Age game was 2014’s Dragon Age: Inquisition, which won multiple Game of the Year awards. Given the stature of that franchise, and the fact that it held the record for the “most successful launch in BioWare history” at the time, it would be surprising if EA didn’t make some kind of sequel.
Mike Laidlaw Bio:
Laidlaw joined BioWare in February 2003 as a lead story developer and writer for Jade Empire. He worked in the same role for an unannounced game. He also worked on Mass Effect and Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. In November 2008, Laidlaw became the lead designer for Dragon Age: Origins. He was promoted to creative director for the Dragon Age franchise in 2009, working on Dragon Age II and then Dragon Age: Inquisition. Laidlaw was promoted to senior creative director for the Dragon Age franchise in June 2017.