Matt Goldman, the senior creative director of the Dragon Age series—including the long-in-development Dragon Age 4—has left the company after “mutually [agreeing] to part ways.”
His departure was announced earlier today in an email sent to staff by BioWare studio GM Gary McKay:
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.
An Electronic Arts representative tells Kotaku, “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.”
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Goldman first joined BioWare in 1998, and worked as an artist on everything from Baldur’s Gate to Jade Empire to the first few Dragon Age games. After a brief stint at Ensemble, where he worked on Halo Wars, in 2017 he took over as senior creative director on Dragon Age 4, after early work on the sequel was thrown out and the game’s direction rebooted.
In a message posted to fans after a short 2018 teaser trailer for Dragon Age 4, Goldman had said:
Making players into heroes of their own stories has been my real-life quest since Baldur’s Gate.
Over the years I’ve taken on increasing challenges: building vast living worlds, devising fun party-based combat and illustrating fantastic stories. Now, I’m honored and excited to continue BioWare’s rich legacy of colorful companions, romance and epic choices in my favorite fantasy franchise.
We’ve gathered our strongest team yet and are venturing forth on the most epic quest ever!
Goldman’s replacement has yet to be named. If you’d like to read more on Dragon Age 4's troubled development, you should check out this feature from 2019.
I feel bad (not really) that given the current climate in game dev my immediate reaction was “Oh shit what did he do”. To leave so abruptly says a lot without saying why. I met Goldman at PAX South at their Bioware/Dragon Age mini-con and it was fascinating to hear him speak. He also gave me some great advice about pursuing creative endeavors that might get me into the industry. All the same…doesn’t feel good/right.