Representatives from noted developer BioWare Corp. have announced the opening of a new studio, named BioWare Austin, in Austin, Texas – the company’s second studio and the first to be located outside of Canada.
The new studio has already begun work on an unnamed massively multiplayer online role-playing (MMORPG). Joining the Austin team as lead designer is James Ohlen, BioWare's creative director, whose previous credits include lead or co-lead design roles on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
, Neverwinter Nights
, Baldur's Gate
and Baldur's Gate II
. Also leading the BioWare Austin team are MMO veterans Richard Vogel and Gordon Walton.
Vogel previously served as VP of product development for Sony Online Entertainment's Austin studio, as well as launching Ultima Online
as a senior producer at Origin. Walton recently served as VP, studio manager and executive producer at Sony Online Entertainment as well as VP and executive producer at Electronic Arts.
The new BioWare Austin comes soon after the formation of BioWare/Pandemic Studios, a partnership facilitated by private equity firm Elevation Partners. The new entity recently announced combined lifetime sales for the two developers in excess of $800 million
comprising recent titles such as Jade Empire
(Microsoft Game Studios), Mercenaries
(LucasArts) and Destroy All Humans!
"BioWare is committed to a seamless collaboration between our two studios to ensure the same high standards of quality and creativity our dedicated teams have always delivered," said Ray Muzyka, co-founder and joint CEO of BioWare. "With our extensive heritage in the role-playing genre, BioWare Austin is extremely well positioned to innovate in the massively multiplayer online space for BioWare's valued community of fans."