Wizards of the Coast teams with ex-BioWare devs on a sci-fi RPG

Igor Bonifacic
Contributing Writer
Wizards of the Coast / Archetype Entertainment

Magic: The Gathering creator Wizards of the Coast has shared new details about the video game studio it's building in Austin. The subsidiary is called Archetype Entertainment and its first project is a role-playing game set in a new sci-fi universe. Archetype says its as-of-yet-unnamed title "will send players on a story-driven epic where choices they make will have real consequences on how their story unfolds." You know, the standard stuff every new RPG studio promises.

The good news is that leading the developer are two former BioWare employees: James Ohlen and Chad Robertson. Ohlen worked as the creative director and lead designer on some of Bioware's most beloved titles, including Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, Neverwinter Nights and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Wizards of the Coast first announced Ohlen's hiring last April. He will serve as the head of the studio.

Robertson, meanwhile, comes from BioWare Austin, the studio EA established to create Star Wars: The Old Republic. According to Polygon, his most recent role involved heading up live services for Anthem, BioWare's poorly-received loot shooter. Robertson will manage the studio and act as its vice-president.

While we don't know Archetype's current headcount, based on the fact the studio is hiring for positions like art director, lead character artist and lead gameplay engineer, its first game is likely years away. In the meantime, Wizards of the Coast has Larian Studios, another developer with a strong pedigree, working on Baldur's Gate 3. The sequel will probably launch before Archetype's first game.