New WotC Game Studio Headed By Bioware's James Ohlen
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    New WotC Video Game Studio Headed By James Ohlen

    Ex-Bioware designer James Ohlen is in D&D news a lot right now! Heís behind the Odyssey of the Dragonlords Kickstarter, the new Heroes of Baldurís Gate hardcover, and is now also heading up a game studio for WotC!


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    Ohlen was a lead designer and writer for Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age: Origins and more.

    According to PC Gamer, Ohlen is opening up a new game studio in Texas for WotC. He said "I didnít think that I would be coming back to the game industry so soon but working with Wizards is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our mutual love of RPGs, world-building, and interactive storytelling is a perfect match."

    Itís not a D&D project though. Itís original IP of some kind -- WoTC says it "will focus on the creation of original IP outside of the Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons brand." Still, a WotC-owned game studio could mean D&D games in the future.

    Is it a video game studio? Unclear! WotC says it's a "multimedia studio," with "freedom to develop different expressions."

    Why not D&D or MtG? WotC's Chris Cocks says "We think that weíve been uniquely successful because weíve developed franchises that endure. We want to continue to build off the strength of those brands and develop new content and experiences that will allow fans to experience them in many more ways."

    Venture Beat has a little more to add. This new IP is NOT Ohlen's current projects at Arcanum Worlds (Odyssey of the Dragonlords). WotC's Chris Cocks said "No, James still has Arcanum Worlds, and heís free to publish his previous creations there, but this will be something that nobody has ever heard of beforeĒ. But it does appear to be digital in nature -- "Weíre focused on unlocking the potential of Wizardsí digital experiences, and I think James is a key hire toward that goal. So as we develop our digital library, I donít think weíre tied to a specific platform; itís more about finding the right ways to connect our franchises to people."

    Ohlen starts work for WotC in May.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    Ex-Bioware designer James Ohlen is in the news a lot right now! Heís behind the Odyssey of the Dragonlords Kickstarter, the new Heroes of Baldurís Gate hardcover, and is now also heading up a studio for WotC!
    OH MY G-

    Itís not a D&D project though. Itís original IP of some kind.
    *closes tab*
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    Cautiously optimistic!

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    Gritty My Little Pony CRPG confirmed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post


    Is it a video game studio? Unclear! WotC says it's a "multimedia studio," with "freedom to develop different expressions."

    So mobile AR games with microtransactions?

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    Not a D&D project. Dang I was hoping for a turned based 5e experience similar to Baldurs Gate.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    Ex-Bioware designer James Ohlen is in D&D news a lot right now! Heís behind the Odyssey of the Dragonlords Kickstarter, the new Heroes of Baldurís Gate hardcover, and is now also heading up a game studio for WotC![PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]Ohlen was a lead designer and writer for Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age: Origins and more.

    According to PC Gamer, Ohlen is opening up a new game studio in Texas for WotC. He said "I didnít think that I would be coming back to the game industry so soon but working with Wizards is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our mutual love of RPGs, world-building, and interactive storytelling is a perfect match."

    Itís not a D&D project though. Itís original IP of some kind -- WoTC says it "will focus on the creation of original IP outside of the Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons brand." Still, a WotC-owned game studio could mean D&D games in the future.

    Is it a video game studio? Unclear! WotC says it's a "multimedia studio," with "freedom to develop different expressions."
    It does seem odd that it's not an already established WotC IP, especially given his success using said IP in the past. Perhaps they are going to let him do something as a test run to make sure he can still produce quality products before letting him play with the big toys? Given how much they've been burned recently when it comes to CRPGs, I could understand their caution. But conversely, if there is anyone you should be able to trust, it would be Ohlen...

  8. #8
    There is that persistent rumor of baldurs gate 3 from beamdog

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    Quote Originally Posted by sevenbastard View Post
    Not a D&D project. Dang I was hoping for a turned based 5e experience similar to Baldurs Gate.
    He may have legal restrictions on doing a CRPG so soon after leaving Bioware.

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    Let me get this straight. Famous D&D video game designer of a legendary D&D video game franchise is hired by the publishers of the most popular edition of D&D as the head of a new video game studio for the company that owns D&D... but is NOT working on a D&D game??!

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