After slightly more than a year as the creative director at Ubisoft Québec, Mike Laidlaw has announced his departure from the studio. The former creative director of Bioware’s Dragon Age series has wished Ubisoft “all the best of luck with future ventures including the upcoming Gods and Monsters.”
Gods and Monsters was also suspected to be Laidlaw’s project, unannounced at the time he joined the team in December 2018. The game was originally supposed to launch in February 2020, but it was delayed until sometime in Ubisoft’s next fiscal year, which starts in April, due to the poor reception of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
However, due to Laidlaw’s departure, it seems we will never know if he was working on Gods and Monsters or something else entirely that has not been announced. All we know is that since Laidlaw’s arrival a little more than a year ago, the studio has not published any game, with their last one being Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey earlier in 2018.
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Interestingly, Laidlaw isn’t leaving for greener pastures, at least not yet. He hints at this in his tweet, quoted above, but also in a status update on his LinkedIn profile, where he states, “I’m not 100% sure what my next steps are just yet, but returning to consulting for a while seems likely. In the meantime, a chance to relax, take stock and enjoy this gorgeous city while continuing to practice my French.” This means that he most likely did not receive a better offer, but simply decided he did not want to work at Ubisoft anymore. What this says about the current state of the studio is anyone’s guess, but it doesn’t seem very pretty.
Before joining Ubisoft Québec, Laidlaw not only worked on the Dragon Age sequels, but also on Jade Empire and Mass Effect, spending a total of 14 years at the studio. A previous Kotaku exposé on Dragon Age: Anthem, the supposed fourth installment in the series, claims that he left because the game was cancelled.
Whatever the reason for his departure, not many fans seemed saddened by the news either on his Twitter feed or LinkedIn status — rather, most seem excited to hear what he will be working on next, as his previous work is considered among the best out there. Meanwhile, Ubisoft is yet to announce a solid release date for Gods and Monsters.
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