There has been quite a bit of speculation surrounding David Gaider’s departure from BioWare, especially considering that his writing style and the path he took their narrative down is something the company, at large, seemed to be very supportive of. Perhaps hoping to clear the air about his motive for leaving the Canadian CRPG developer, Gaider sat down for a short interview with Zam.
On the subject of his departure, Gaider said the following:
- “I notice some of the conversation online is ‘oh, he was clearly driven out,'” Gaider observes. He’d like to set the record straight: “It wasn’t like that. It was so hard to leave. There are a lot of people [at BioWare] who I love dearly and I’ll always be friends with. But you know, I’m knocking on 45 this year, it felt like it was time to move up and try something new.”
- “I ran into Trent Oster at my gym, actually,” Gaider explains. Beamdog had recently posted a job listing for a new senior writer, presumably as part of a push toward more original content like the Dragonspear expansion. “We just sort of chatted about it… At first I didn’t take it that seriously, you know, I thought ‘oh, this is interesting’ [but] ‘is this something where I would be overqualified?'”
- “It’s kind of a big step — moving up to that level over a team of 150 [at BioWare] would be pretty daunting, so this is a little more within my reach, perhaps,” says Gaider. “It’s kind of exciting, going to a small startup company. Shake off some of the dust.”
One thing to note is that the interviewer seems to think Gaider’s comment about his next game being “not guaranteed to be Baldur’s Gate” is somehow an indication that it may be. On the contrary, I believe it to be just the opposite. It’s far more likely they have Gaider there to pen an entirely new game for them, since Beamdog’s longterm financial stability would require them to have an intellectual property they could not only call their own, but build off of and grow as a developer.
Though I do agree that if the Baldur’s Gate franchise continues beyond mere enhanced editions and expansions -and I believe it will at some point in the future – it’ll be done through crowdfunding. With a name that powerful, I doubt a small company like Beamdog could resist the kind of pull on gamer’s wallets a nostalgic name like that would have.
Finally, as for leaving Dragon Age behind, Gaider makes mention of the fact that he had been off of the series for a year prior to this, so while he felt bad leaving it behind, he stressed that he is “right next door”, so obviously he expects nothing much to change while he’s gone.