BioWare dismisses the original lead writer of Baldur's Gate
The BioWare writer, Lukas Kristjanson, who had been working at the studio for over 25 years, has been dismissed. This occurrence takes place despite B...
The BioWare writer, Lukas Kristjanson, who had been working at the studio for over 25 years, has been dismissed. This occurrence takes place despite BioWare having at least two major games in development: Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and Mass Effect 5. Concurrently, 50 developers are losing their positions at BioWare.
While every dismissal is devastating, Kristjanson's job loss is simply perplexing. Throughout his career spanning over two decades, Kristjanson contributed to the writing of both the Baldur's Gate games and one of the series' most beloved characters, Minsc. Now, his dismissal comes at a time when the long-awaited sequel, Baldur's Gate 3, is garnering critical acclaim and commercial success, even featuring Minsc as a recurring companion.
"Completely stunned by the news of Lukas Kristjanson's dismissal from BioWare," says David Gaider, a former BioWare writer who left the company in 2016. "We used to call him Old Man Luke and Writer Alpha - he had been there since BG1, the author behind Minsc and [Mass Effect's] Joker, among so many others."
BioWare developed the first two Baldur's Gate games before turning their attention to their own franchises, Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Simply put, we wouldn't have the groundbreaking success of Baldur's Gate 3 today without the work of these BioWare writers.
Then there's the inspiration that developer studio Larian Studios has clearly drawn from BioWare's later works. With groups of up to four individuals, extensive romances, and a campsite for the party, many players have compared Baldur's Gate 3 to Dragon Age: Origins. And since Baldur's Gate 3 launched without microtransactions, live-service elements, or even DLC, it has proven that there is still a significant demand for these single-player experiences, from which BioWare has turned away after Dragon Age: Inquisition. Fairly speaking, many feel that Baldur's Gate 3 simply filled the void left by BioWare while the studio was working on Anthem and two different versions of Dragon Age 4 were canceled.
Even if we disregard the success of Baldur's Gate 3, the dismissals appear senseless and contradictory to BioWare's goals. The studio has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to the Dragon Age series, yet not only was long-time writer Kristjanson let go, but also Mary Kirby, who had been with BioWare since 2006. She, too, wrote for all three Dragon Age games and even created the unofficial mascot of the series, Varric. The dwarven rogue seems to be a central character in Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, just as he was in Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition. It is difficult to envision where the series can go without individuals like Kirby and Kristjanson at the helm.