James Ohlen, a veteran designer and creative director at BioWare, announced that after 22 years of working with the company he has retired. “After 22 years I have retired from BioWare. I’ve loved my time with Anthem, Star Wars, Dragon Age and Dungeons and Dragons,” Ohlen shared via his personal Twitter account. He went on to say that he is in need of a break from the industry and moving forward will “work on something a little smaller and more personal.”
Ohlen’s past work at BioWare includes all of the titles that he mentioned above, with him more specifically having worked on games like Dragon Age: Origins, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Perhaps his most famous position held at the company during his tenure was that of the Lead Designer on Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 along with Neverwinter Nights.
While it’s easy to get concerned anytime a noteworthy face departs a studio, this move by Ohlen seems much more like it is for his personal benefit. In subsequent tweets following the announcement of his departure, Ohlen said that his next project is that of a pen and paper RPG book called Odyssey of the Dragonlords. “I’ve been a D&D fanatic since I was 10 years old and I want to be a part of it again,” Ohlen explained of this book.
You can only make so many career changes over the course of your life, so props to Ohlen for chasing something that has meant a lot to him since he was a kid. To see more about his next work, you can head here.
After 22 years I have retired from BioWare. I’ve loved my time with Anthem, Star Wars, Dragon Age and Dungeons and Dragons. But I need to take a break from the industry and work on something a little smaller and more personal.
— James Ohlen (@JamesOhlen) July 12, 2018