Former Dragon Age developer returns with new studio, partners with Wizards of the Coast

It’s good to get a second chance at a first impression in the game industry especially when it’s doing something you love. Take James Ohlen, for example. For years, he’s been a creative director and writer for BioWare. He’s pushed life into the likes of Jade Empire, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and, most notably, the Dragon Age games. But now he’s got the chance to create something entirely new, with the help of a well-known publisher.

In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Ohlen confirmed he will head up a new Austin-based studio called Arcanum Worlds. They’ll be working closely on developing new games for Wizards of the Coast.

Technically, Ohlen called it quits on the industry last year, retiring from BioWare after years of service. However, the publisher was able to entice him to return and try something new.

“I had pretty well turned down most opportunities for interviews to get back into the industry, but I talked to Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks and he gave me a scenario that was very intriguing and interesting. It was like the scene out of The Godfather where it was an offer that was too good to refuse,” he said.

Don’t expect Arcanum Worlds to cover familiar territory, however. It will be striking out with something new. Ohlen even wants to make sure the team is ready to go, instead of stressed out.

“Obviously I want to create an environment and a studio that is one people enjoy coming into, where they’re not working themselves to death and are able to have a family life,” he said.

Clearly he’s avoiding taking the route that Epic Games reportedly went down with Fortnite development. While there’s no word on where Arcanum Worlds will kick off, we’ll know more sometime over the next few months.