Former Dragon Age Narrative Lead Says Writers Became ‘Quietly Resented’ at BioWare
David Gaider, who served as Dragon Age’s narrative lead before leaving BioWare in 2016, said in a recent Twitter thread that the developer’s writers were “quietly outraged” and had come to be seen as “albatrosses.” said.
Just as film and TV writers went on strike yesterday demanding better wages and better working conditions from Hollywood studios, Gaider posted a tweet. Speaking broadly about writing, Gayder says it’s an area that “always has been underestimated”, an attitude that can be seen even among those trying to break into the video game industry.
“Even BioWare, which has found success with great stories and characters, is a company we quietly resent for relying on expensive stories deemed ‘Albatross’ from a company that values writers aloud.” has slowly changed to … holding back the company,” he wrote.
“It may sound like a burden, but it was something I definitely felt until I left in 2016,” he continued. Do you do LESS lighting?’ The good stories will simply happen via a magic wand, not the ones that require support and prioritization.”
It may sound like a heavy burden, but it was something I felt very clearly until I retired in 2016. A good story simply happens via a magic wand, not one that requires support and prioritization.
— David Gaider (@davidgaider) May 3, 2023
Gaider worked for BioWare for 17 years before retiring, and his narrative footprint for the company is undeniably large. He was the lead writer for Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and Dragon Age: Inquisition, and is best known as the creator of Thedas, the setting for the game series.
The next Dragon Age game, Dread Wolf, is still waiting for a release date. Prior to Dragon Age, Gaider also worked on his BioWare’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn. He is currently working on Summerfall Games’ new narrative RPG, Stray Dogs.
Gaidar’s comments come at a time when Hollywood writers are fighting for more stability in the industry. Especially after streaming entertainment, which has been disrupted as we know it, and because emerging AI techniques are increasingly being looked at as a way to further devalue writers (for more on how AI works, see Entertainment (Check out IGN’s AI Week article for possible industry implications.)
“At the end of the day, you can say you like good writing, whether it’s a game, a movie, or an online article, but it’s not worth prioritizing and supporting it… And yes, the writers they pay Pay what you deserve…that’s not what everyone else is hearing,” Gaydar concluded.
Alex Stedman is IGN’s senior news editor, overseeing entertainment coverage. When he’s not writing or editing, he’s reading fantasy novels and playing Dungeons & Dragons.