Mike Laidlaw, formerly the creative director and lead designer on the Dragon Age RPG series, left BioWare in 2017 so he could try his hand at other things—including the Dragon Age: Origins-inspired RPG The Waylanders. But today he announced that he's back at a big developer, this time as the creative director at Ubisoft Quebec.
I always knew I'd go back to triple-A at some point, once I found the right team and project. Spoiler: I did at Ubisoft Quebec and I'm so damn excited to finally talk about it!https://t.co/41sPcyfUsZDecember 5, 2018
"As you might know, I’ve been working as a consultant for the past year. It’s been an amazing experience, as it allowed me to work with teams of all different sizes and compositions around the world," Laidlaw wrote in a LinkedIn blog post.
"The most exciting aspect of consulting was the opportunity to meet many incredibly talented folks across the industry and offer insight on some truly interesting projects. One of which, in fact, is the one I’m joining here at Ubisoft. In my months working with the team here, I’ve been really impressed with the combination of passion and raw talent in the studio. If you’ve played the excellent Assassin’s Creed Odyssey—which was principally developed here in Quebec City—you already have some taste of what that combination can produce."
Ubisoft Quebec is a smaller studio than Ubisoft Montreal and probably not as well known, but it's worked on a number of high-profile Ubisoft games over the past decade including Rainbow Six: Vegas, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, For Honor, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole. It's also worked on numerous Assassin's Creed games, and was the lead studio on Assassin's Creed: Syndicate and, as Laidlaw noted, the newest game in the series, AC: Odyssey.
Laidlaw congratulated the developers working on The Waylanders, which recently concluded a successful Kickstarter campaign. He expressed regret that he won't be able to work with the studio full-time, but said he's confident that Emily Grace Buck, who joined the team in November, will very ably fill his shoes.
What he didn't say, unfortunately, is anything about what he's doing at Ubisoft, although he teased that "it's exciting enough to make me move halfway across the continent." And while Ubisoft Quebec is "very comfortable and welcoming to those of us who speak English," Laidlaw is also apparently looking forward to brushing up on his French.