If you have ever wondered about the year or so that Mike Laidlaw, the designer of Dragon Age, worked for Ubisoft, then a big puzzle piece is about to fall into place.
Laidlaw was directing development of a fantasy role-playing game about King Arthur and his knights code-named Avalon. Swords and sorcery, knights and legends, fantasy and Laidlaw? It sounds like a winning combination. Chief creative officer (now retired after allegations of sexual misconduct), Serge Hascoët didn’t only hate women having roles in games, apparently fantasy was held to a different standard. The team was told that if they were going to make a fantasy game, it had to be “better than Tolkien.”
Obviously these aren’t the same exacting standards demanded of games like Ghost Recon Breakpoint, which has been panned by fans and critics. It shows how broken a system is where one person has so much power over several franchises, when big franchises all start to feel incredibly similar, despite being developed in separate studios.
Avalon had co-operative multiplayer, like Monster Hunter and was progressing well, until one person didn’t like the setting. Laidlaw even pitched new themes, including Greek mythology and science fiction, but they were all shot down. Then Laidlaw left.
More can be read at Bloomberg.