Ubisoft announced this morning that former Dragon Age lead designer and creative director Mike Laidlaw is joining the studio's team in the Quebec City area. While this news comes a little over a year after announcing his departure from Bioware, Mike states in the newsletter that he has been working with the studio for about nine months as a creative consultant on an unannounced project.
Picking up the RPG talent is perhaps no surprise for the Assassin's Creed devs, who has most previously worked on this year's Assassin's Creed Odyssey and has primarily been working on the franchise since 2013's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. The series has undergone a notable shift in the last couple years introducing RPG elements to the action-adventure stealth franchise, and it seems like the studio is intent on building onto that experience, though Laidlaw's project remains unannounced.
The timing of this announcement is also interesting in that it somewhat coincides with Dragon Age fans finally learning about the series's future tomorrow at The Game Awards 2018.
We have the statement including some quote excerpts from Mike below:
“From day one, I was blown away by the talent, the creativity and the passion of the Québec team” said Mike Laidlaw. “Over the past few months, I also discovered the city and its welcoming people, which convinced me to move here and officially join Ubisoft Québec.”
Mike has worked in the video game industry for 14 years. At Electronic Arts’ BioWare studio in Edmonton, Alberta, he was the Creative Director of the Dragon Age series for 8 years. Prior to his work as Lead Designer on Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, Mike played a key role in the development of other BioWare titles, such as Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Most recently he was the Creative Director for 2014’s Game of the Year Dragon Age: Inquisition. For the past few years, Mike has been exploring and supporting independent titles on his popular Twitch channel: twitch.tv/Mike_Laidlaw.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mike into the Ubisoft Québec family”, mentioned Patrick Klaus, studio Managing Director. “With his vast experience and his unique creative vision, we know he will bring something bold to the studio.” Senior Producer Jeff Skalski added: “Having Mike join our team and studio is a game changer and we’re excited to have him onboard. He’s the perfect fit for our project and I can’t wait for everyone to experience the results.”
Mike Laidlaw joins Ubisoft Québec at a key moment for the studio, with the recent announcement of the creation of 200 new jobs and the opening of a second site in the Saint-Roch neighborhood. Over the past three years, Ubisoft Québec successfully led Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the latest installment of the popular franchise, which hit stores on October 5, 2018. With its growing teams and the momentum on their side, Ubisoft Québec thinks big and promises to keep on creating outstanding worlds, both immersive and innovative.