Dragon Age narrative lead claims BioWare "quietly resented" its writers

Dragon Age: Origins
(Image credit: EA)

Dragon Age writer David Gaider says BioWare's attitude towards its writers changed over time, with some people at the company coming to "quietly resent" them over time.

In light of the ongoing Writers Guild of America strikes, game developer David Gaider has shared an insight into how writing for games is viewed in the industry. According to the former BioWare dev: "Writing is one of those disciplines which is constantly undervalued. It's something that everyone thinks they can do." 

In a Twitter thread, Gaider elaborates: "Even BioWare, which built its success on a reputation for good stories and characters, slowly turned from a company that vocally valued its writers to one where we were... quietly resented, with a reliance on expensive narrative seen as the 'albatross' holding the company back."

"Maybe that sounds like a heavy charge," Gaider adds, "but it's what I distinctly felt up until I left in 2016. Suddenly all anyone in charge was asking was 'how do we have LESS writing?' A good story would simply happen, via magic wand, rather than be something that needed support and priority." Throughout his time at BioWare, Gaider was best known for his work on the Dragon Age and Star Wars series, but these comments seem particularly relevant to Anthem, the studio's multiplayer sci-fi effort. A significant departure from the narrative efforts that had made BioWare's name, Anthem was a massive flop, failing to deliver on either its single-player story or its multiplayer gameplay.

These days, Gaider is busy heading up Summerfall studio which recently announced a "roleplaying musical" called Stray Gods. As for BioWare, the studio is still working away on Dragon Age 4 (aka Dragon Age: Dreadwolf) and a new Mass Effect game that we're calling Mass Effect 5 for now. We're yet to get a release date for either of these titles but who knows, maybe we'll hear more news around the time of Summer Games Fest next month?  

While we wait to find out more, take a look at our best BioWare games list. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.  

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