Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw has left BioWare after 14 years with the developer, according to a recent surprise announcement on Twitter.
Laidlaw started on the fantasy RPG franchise as the lead designer on Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, before moving to creative director for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Before that, Laidlaw was the lead writer on Jade Empire and a designer on the original Mass Effect.
After his departure from BioWare, Laidlaw plans to play more games and continue streaming on his fairly popular Twitch channel.
— Mike Laidlaw (@Mike_Laidlaw) October 12, 2017
While it isn’t clear why Laidlaw left or whether his departure was voluntary, a response from Mass Effect producer Michael Gamble suggested Laidlaw left BioWare of his own volition.
Laidlaw’s departure from BioWare brings up some questions about the future of Dragon Age. While Laidlaw refused to confirm that Dragon Age 4 was in the works before leaving the franchise, he did confirm that something related to Dragon Age is in the works, going so far as to say that BioWare Edmonton was hiring people for the next Dragon Age game.
However, as far as how deep into the development process the next Dragon Age is, it might be earlier in production than we previously thought, as Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah tweeted at Laidlaw that he was “so excited” for the former creative director “to see what the next Dragon Age will be.” This makes it sound like the next Dragon Age is still a ways off.
In the meantime, BioWare Edmonton’s next project, Anthem, is scheduled for a late 2018 release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.