Dragon Age Creative Director Matt Goldman exits BioWare
It's tempting, even as a BioWare diehard, to begin this article by noting that the award-winning studio has been "bleeding talent" for years. High-profile departures like David Gaider's, Mike Laidlaw's, and Mark Darrah's have never been fun to report on — not to mention the two times former Studio GM Casey Hudson took off.
But it seems like Dragon Age Creative Director Matt Goldman's recent exit has happened under exceptional circumstances.
In an email sent to development staff first spotted by Kotaku, Studio GM Gary McKay announced this abrupt farewell on Goldman's behalf:
I hope you are well. I’m writing to inform you all that Matt Goldman is leaving BioWare. We have mutually agreed to part ways, and his last day is today.
We understand that Matt’s departure has an impact on you, as well as the game’s development. Rest assured our commitment to a high-quality Dragon Age game has not waivered, and we will not ship a game that is not up to BioWare’s standards.
We, including EA’s executive team, have absolute confidence in the leadership here at the studio and the people working on this game to carry forward our vision.
In the past, major departures have been a far more public affair, with the leave-takings announced by the leave-takers themselves.
Kotaku reached out to EA for clarification on the matter. The publisher's response was predictably terse:
“Matt Goldman is no longer working at BioWare. He leaves the next Dragon Age game in excellent hands, with the team here at the studio who will carry forward our vision for the game.”
It's easy for fans of the Dragon Age series to give in to despair whenever there's a fast farewell, but it's important to note that Dragon Age 4's infamously troubled development history does have its recent upsides.
The project has been rebooted twice since the successful Dragon Age: Inquisition reignited critical and financial interest in the franchise, but while the first of these two reboots turned a planned single-player experience into a live-service, multiplayer-centric project, the more recent restart has allegedly brought the game back in line with the original intent.
There's no word yet on who will replace Goldman, furthering the feeling that this was all rather sudden. Regardless of its shaky history, we look forward to finding out whether the planned fourth entry in the saga of Thedas and her many-splendored cheese wheels can deliver on the excellent setup established with Inquisition's final DLC, "Trespasser."
Dragon Age 4, or whatever its real name turns out to be, is in active development for undisclosed platforms (undoubtedly including PC).