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Former lead author accuses: The story of video games is becoming less and less important – even with story specialists like BioWare | Top News

former lead author accuses: the story of video games is

A former senior writer at developer BioWare took to Twitter to complain about a trend that should concern fans of story-driven games. David Gaider says: Writing is underrated. A very dangerous development in a business that relies on immersion.

In a lengthy statement on Twitter, a well-known video game story writer bemoaned the industry’s attitude towards good stories. He says even BioWare, a studio that grew up on big stories, now prioritizes stories significantly less.


The statements come from David Gaider. He worked for BioWare for over 17 years, retiring from the company in 2016. Gaider was at one point the lead writer for the Dragon Age series, but has also worked on Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

As a video game writer, you create the story, write interesting characters, bring the world to life on paper, which is then implemented by developers.

But this is exactly where there is a trend in the industry that makes writing video games less and less important. Gaider apparently wanted to draw attention to this with his post, as he considers this trend to be questionable.


A current game with a focus on the story is the German MMO Coreborn. Check out the story trailer here:

Coreborn: Nations of the Ultracore – The Story Trailer


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What criticism does Gaider express? On Twitter, the author summarizes his thoughts in a total of 5 tweets (via

He says, “Writing is one of those disciplines that is constantly undervalued.” Everyone would claim to be good at writing – many are not even aware of the difference between “good” and “bad” writing.


“So why pay a lot for it, right?” he asks the group.

In the field of gaming, he sees the problem in particular. He criticizes the attitude: “I don’t have REAL skills…I don’t know anything about design, I can’t code, so I guess I’ll be a writer? That’s better than quality assurance!”.

Gaider cites his former employer BioWare as an example of this development. With games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect, the studio set standards in terms of storytelling and character development. Today that would probably no longer be possible, Gaider hints.


Even BioWare, which built its success on a reputation for good stories and characters, slowly transitioned from a company that explicitly valued its writers to one where we were… secretly rejected because expensive narratives were seen more as a problem, which the company is holding back.

David Gaider on Twitter

He knows how harsh that sounds. But Gaider felt this before he left BioWare in 2016: “Suddenly everyone in charge asked: ‘How can we write LESS?’”. He believes a good story comes with priority and support, not magic wands.

Gaider concludes by saying that while you can say you like good writing, if you don’t prioritize and support it, then you don’t appreciate it enough. He also calculates the payment: “And yes – pay authors what they are entitled to…”.


Looking deep into the industry can be exciting, and the development Gaider describes sounds like a real problem. But you also have to differentiate – what value did the statement relate to the entire industry? That is very difficult to assess.

Currently it is more the technical problems that make many new games hit the headlines – Hogwarts Legacy, Redfall or Jedi Survivors annoyed many players on the PC.

But does that also apply to the story? How do you feel about the development over the past few years in terms of stories, characters and the “magic of the story” in video games? Leave a comment with your opinion on the topic.


If you would rather devote yourself to another topic, take a look here: If you want to be “the best” in games, you are ruining your own gaming fun