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James Ohlen retires from BioWare

Former creative director departs after 22 years to work on something "smaller and more personal"

BioWare's James Ohlen has announced his retirement from the studio after 22 years.

In a Twitter statement on his departure, Ohlen said he needed "to take a break from the industry and work on something a little smaller and more personal."

In his lengthy tenure at BioWare, Ohlen has worked on numerous games. Perhaps most notably, he served as creative director and lead designer on Star Wars: The Old Republic and Knights of the Old Republic. In the same Twitter thread, he mentioned the most fun he had at the studio was working as lead designer for Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and Neverwinter Nights.

Ohlen also played a major role in the development of Dragon Age and BioWare's upcoming new IP, Anthem.

In addition, Ohlen still serves as founder and lead at Arcanum Worlds along with another former BioWare creative director, Jesse Sky. Arcanum Worlds is a publishing venture focused on building Dungeons and Dragons adventures. Its first project is a hardcover sourcebook for the game's fifth edition entitled Odyssey of the Dragonlords, and was announced today alongside Ohlen's BioWare departure news.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.

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