Last year's Dragon Age: Inquisition saw the fledgling franchise re-establish itself to fans and critics alike after its predecessor Dragon Age 2 threatened to nip the series in the bud. Earlier today, Bioware lead writer David Gaider announced via Twitter that he is moving on from Dragon Age to work on an as-yet-unannounced title.
Gaider has been a creative force behind the franchise since its earliest inception, and has since worked on each game in the series, as well as penning tie-in novels and comic books. Patrick Weekes will replace him as lead writer for Dragon Age going forward, having just released a novel of his own set in the universe last year.
This new will likely restart the debate as to just what is brewing at BioWare, and when we'll see it. We know very little about what stage of development the developer's various rumored projects are in, but it seems likely that Gaider is being transferred to provide his expertise on one of the studio's big franchises.
The most likely candidate would seem to be BioWare's return to the Star Wars universe. Gaider previously worked on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a game praised by fans for its strong grasp on the spirit of the franchise. With the first Star Wars movie in a decade out later this year, BioWare will certainly be looking to ensure that their game lives up to the reinvigorated hype surrounding the franchise.
However, it could well be that Gaider is instead moving on to work on Mass Effect. While that title hasn't been officially announced as of yet, we do know that it's in development — even if it's apparently 'years away'. However, with BioWare having snagged Halo 4 lead writer Chris Schlerf for the game only months ago, it would seem Gaider is heading elsewhere.
With that in mind, it may well be that Gaider is beginning work on a project that we won't see for some time. The writer first started on Dragon Age some ten years ago, long before the public knew of the project. If BioWare and planning out a new franchise, it would make sense for them to set one of their most trusted writers to carving out its narrative backbone well ahead of time.
That being said, we can only speculate at this point. With Dragon Age: Inquisition having been released nearly six months ago, BioWare will likely be shifting attention to their future projects before too long — hopefully we'll see more of what's in store by the end of 2015.