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Drew Karpyshyn, lead writer on Mass Effect and co-lead writer on Mass Effect 2, is coming back to BioWare. He won't be working on Mass Effect: Andromeda, though.
Karpyshyn worked at BioWare for over a decade. He quit the studio in 2012 to work on his fantasy novel series Chaos Born. He announced his return to the company in a new blog post on his website:
Now that the [Chaos Born] trilogy is finished, I’ve decided to come back into the fold. But for those of you who love my novels, don’t worry – I’ll still be writing more of those, too!
I'd imagine many Mass Effect fans were hoping Karpyshyn was working on Mass Effect: Andromeda. After the widespread disappointment with Mass Effect 3's story, it would've been reassuring to know that the writer from the better days of the series was working on the fourth game.
To be fair, though, Karpyshyn's well-suited to writing Star Wars as well. He was senior writer on Knights of the Old Republic, the single-player RPG that eventually inspired the Old Republic MMO that he also worked on. He also wrote two Old Republic novels and three others starring Darth Bane, a Sith Lord that lived a 1,000 years before the Star Wars films. Bringing him back onto the SW:TOR development team makes a lot of sense.
BioWare Austin is currently working on the Knights of the Fallen Empire, the fifth expansion pack ot the game. In Fallen Empire, the Empire of Zakuul is assaulting both the Sith and the Republic. Level 60 players will embark on a quest to stop them. There are eight different stories, each tailored to a different class. Players will be reunited with old companions and also enlist a few new ones. In their journey, they'll be asked to make a series of hard choices. With story such a key component of the expansion, it's good that BioWare has veterans like Karpyshyn on staff.
Mass Effect: Andromeda's writing team, meanwhile, is being headed up by newcomer Chris Schlerf. Schlerf came to BioWare from 343 Industries, where he wrote Halo 4. Mac Walters, who co-wrote Mass Effect 2 with Karpyshyn and lead the writing for ME3, is creative director on Andromeda.