‘Mass Effect,’ ‘KOTOR’ Lead Writer Drew Karpyshyn Retires

Feb 18, 2012 by  

Drew Karpyshyn Retires Mass Effect KOTOR

It’s hard to imagine where BioWare would be without Drew Karpyshyn. A lead writer on venerable titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, and Mass Effect 2, Karpyshyn joined BioWare 12 years ago and was indispensable in seeing the Canadian game developer become synonymous with top tier storytelling.

However, as Mass Effect 3 edges painfully closer to its March 6 release, Commander Shepard isn’t the only series hallmark who’s hanging up the armor plates and seeking greener pastures. Karpyshyn took to his blog recently and announced to fans that his time with Bioware was coming to an end. He plans to invest more energy on novels and projects outside the realm of gaming.

“As of last week, I have officially retired from BioWare…

“For the past twelve years I’ve had the privilege to work at one of the best companies in the video game industry, side by side with the most talented and incredible group of people I’ve ever had the good fortune to know. I’ve enjoyed my time at BioWare immensely, but it’s time for me to move on.”

It’s the classic fate of all good things.

We should remember, though, that many for games – BioWare’s Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic included – writing is often a team effort. Before officially retiring, Karpyshyn was presumed to have a hands-off role in the writing process for Mass Effect 3, with Mac Walters taking things home, and had relinquished his duties entirely for the Mass Effect novel series (although, Commander Shepard might have run the Karpyshyn-less edition through the Normandy’s trash compactor by now).

That’s why he doesn’t expect the rest of BioWare’s writing crop to miss a beat:

” …I know going forward that BioWare will continue to live up to its well deserved reputation for making the best story driven games in the industry…The Dragon Age games and the continued success of the Mass Effect series after my departure make it pretty clear that BioWare can get along just fine without me.”

We at Game Rant wish Drew Karpyshyn the best in his future pursuits. It’s no minor task to write for a number of games whose every side quest and random encounter requires a full set of dialogue options, and whose main quest lines run upwards of  at least 30 or 40 hours. Even the Keepers would be impressed.

Karpyshyn Retires Bioware Mass Effect

Having said that, we’re now left with even more questions on the future of the Mass Effect franchise. BioWare seems to have a number of ideas up on the wall right now; could we see a full-fledged Mass Effect 4 as next-gen launch title? Perhaps the series opts for the prequel route by utilizing Mass Effect saves (while still including Conrad Verner, naturally). Only time will tell if the absence of Karpyshyn’s vision has an impact on the series we know today.

Ranters, have you come to enjoy Karpyshyn’s work through Mass Effect, KOTOR, and his associated novels with the two? Do you see a big shift in the Mass Effect franchise after Shepard’s finale in Mass Effect 3?

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Source: Drew Karpyshyn

4 Comments

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  1. I’ll definitely buy any books he writes or watch any movies he scripts in the future. Very creative and talented guy.

  2. Drew Karpyshyn is, and will always be, one of the best. I don’t know if Bioware will flounder or not, but they’ve never let the fans down before. And that’s all that needs to be said.

  3. Wow…I honestly didn’t expect this. I wonder what is going to happen to the writing (of the overall franchise) after the snafu with the latest novel.

  4. So whom does BioWare have on there writing staff now? If David Gaider is all they have (besides interns that write better banter) then expecting a good story doesn’t sound very likely in the near future. So Brent Knowles and now Drew Karpyshyn…sad day for BioWare fans really.

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