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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » The Waylanders - Mike Laidlaw leaving

Default The Waylanders - Mike Laidlaw leaving

December 5th, 2018, 22:24
@Linkedin Mike Laidlaw won't be actively involved with The Waylanders as he joins Ubisoft Quebec City for an unannounced AAA venture.

Joining Ubisoft Quebec City

Published on December 6, 2018

Mike Laidlaw

Experienced Senior Creative Director - Consulting in Narrative, Gameplay, and Vision


So here's a cool new thing: I have joined Ubisoft's Quebec City studio as the Creative Director for a not-yet-announced project!

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.

In particular, I'd like to congratulate the Waylanders team: I worked with them for over one year and they just successfully completed their Kickstarter. Sadly, I won't be able to work with them full time, but I firmly believe they are in great hands now that Emily Grace Buck has joined the team and is taking over many of the parts I was handling.

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.

Alas, I can't discuss exactly what I'm doing, but I will say it's exciting enough to make me move half way across the continent. My family will be joining me and while the studio is very comfortable and welcoming to those of us who speak English, I'm excited to finally put those years of French classes to the test as I explore historic and beautiful Quebec City. Just have to…you know…shake 20 years of rust off.

Pas de problème!





Incidentally, the studio's hiring right now should you care to join me in this particular adventure: https://quebec.ubisoft.com/en/jobs/
More information.
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December 5th, 2018, 23:00
Why am I not surprised? He was always going to be just a marketting ploy.
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December 5th, 2018, 23:42
Not surprised either they used his name like other projects used Avellone. Anyway after Odyssey Ubisoft has the engine, and experience to make a great open world RPG.

Just hate the live service and multiple DLC model.
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December 5th, 2018, 23:43
Attached name to project - read promotional spiel from autocue - Kickstarter funded - cheque cleared - on to the next one!
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December 6th, 2018, 01:28
Kind of an asshole move. And, dude, Ubisoft. Really? What a fucker.
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December 6th, 2018, 01:30
Well he worked on it for a year so i think it was slightly more than a marketing ploy but then again I don't know how much he actually did.

Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Why am I not surprised? He was always going to be just a marketting ploy.
Last edited by you; December 6th, 2018 at 11:39.
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December 6th, 2018, 03:02
Yuck, Ubijunk. That's just like totally throwing in the towel.
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December 6th, 2018, 09:14
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Not surprised either they used his name like other projects used Avellone. …
Mike Laidlaw is no Chris Avellone.

Projects sought to attach Chris Avellone because he’s exceptionally talented and has created some fantastic games. Chris was both lead designer AND writer on some of my favorite RPGs over the past 20 years, including KOTOR 2, Planescape: Torment, and Fallout: New Vegas.

Mike Laidlaw was lead designer of Dragon Age 2. Thanks to his lazy design, we had one boring town and many repeating locations. Attaching his name to a project might not have the intended effect, at least for me. Recently we saw two concurrent Kickstarters for similar isometric party-based RPGs… When I noticed Laidlaw on the Waylanders' page, I threw $100 at Realms Beyond and $0 at Waylanders.

Honestly, my decision to shun Waylanders was based on common sense. Their Kickstarter sought a paltry $150k to fund continued development over the next 18 months with their team of 40. With $168k raised, that works out to $4200 each, or $233/month. It's no surprise Laidlaw left that project after passing on his philosophy of thrifty game design: one boring town/many repeating locations.
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December 6th, 2018, 09:17
Blah Avellone blah Avellone that is all I read sorry.

He also has stopped selling himself like a cheap hooker for that kickstarter cash.

Maybe he'll cry about how evil Fergus is again for more attention.
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December 6th, 2018, 11:41
Was it his lazy design or unrealistic timeline imposed by the parent company (EA) ?

Originally Posted by Vindicator View Post

Mike Laidlaw was lead designer of Dragon Age 2. Thanks to his lazy design, we had one boring town and many repeating locations.
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December 6th, 2018, 12:20
Originally Posted by GabrielMP_19 View Post
Kind of an asshole move. And, dude, Ubisoft. Really? What a fucker.
Based on how good Assassin Creed Odyssey is as game and as RPG, I would say Ubisoft is step up from current Bioware
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December 6th, 2018, 12:20
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Blah Avellone blah Avellone that is all I read sorry.
This has nothing to do with CA.
Originally Posted by Vindicator View Post
Mike Laidlaw was lead designer of Dragon Age 2.
The very reason I'm scared what the next ACreed and WDogs game will look like. Hopefully totally different from DA2.
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December 6th, 2018, 12:29
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
This has nothing to do with CA.
It's a reply to the post above mine. It's blatantly obvious Joxer.

Just didn't feel like quoting him.
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Based on how good Assassin Creed Odyssey is as game and as RPG, I would say Ubisoft is step up from current Bioware.
Definitely like I said above so I agree with you.

They already have a better engine then Frostbite, proved they can make good open world settings, and now have an experienced Project Lead to make a better RPG.
Mike Laidlaw was the Creative Director of the Dragon Age series. Prior to his work as Lead Designer on Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, Mike played a key role in the development of other BioWare titles, such as Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. He is credited as Creative Director of Dragon Age: Inquisition.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; December 6th, 2018 at 12:50. Reason: Added Second Reply
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December 6th, 2018, 12:39
So much for his passion for the project, I guess
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December 6th, 2018, 16:56
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Based on how good Assassin Creed Odyssey is as game and as RPG, I would say Ubisoft is step up from current Bioware
This is so sad to read and actually kind of true.
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December 6th, 2018, 19:38
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
So much for his passion for the project, I guess
Passion's fine I guess, but a man's got to eat. It's possible they simply couldn't pay him anymore but no one wants to come out and say it.
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December 6th, 2018, 19:46
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Passion's fine I guess, but a man's got to eat. It's possible they simply couldn't pay him anymore but no one wants to come out and say it.
So, you're suggesting you're going to starve to death if you don't go working for Ubisoft?

I guess that's theoretically possible, sure

That said, I don't blame people for doing whatever the hell they want. I just seem to remember Laidlaw being particularly passionate about this game. Maybe I'm remembering wrong.
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December 6th, 2018, 20:05
Wow… chill out on the assorted hate and cynicism here like this is all just some hollow Ubi ploy…

First, Laidlaw was also the lead designer on the DA:O, which imo was a hell of a great game… and it's success imo contributed to the the ground work for the isometric RPG renaissance we've been seeing these past years (yes, you could play DA:O fully in iso mode - and I did).

Second, the announcement seems fine and legit to me… the guy says he's moving his family to Quebec to work on this project. That speaks to a lot of commitment.

Lastly, as lostforever pointed out - and I am not an Ubi fan - but the truth is the recent Ubi games do look more interesting then what Bioware's up to. You can call that sad but I just prefer to judge a game and if I like it, I like… even if it does come from a studio who has also released a lot of junk.

So I for one welcome the news and look forward to learning what this upcoming project is.
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December 7th, 2018, 07:16
Originally Posted by SSIGuy View Post
First, Laidlaw was also the lead designer on the DA:O, which imo was a hell of a great game…
Yes, I really enjoyed the countless hours I spent with DA:O once it received a few much needed patches. That's why I was so displeased with DA2.

From what I understand, Dragons Age Origins had three lead designers over its 6 year long development cycle and was released in Nov 2009; Mike was just the last project lead and the one we remember because he promoted the game with interviews.

Dragons Age 2 had only one lead designer, Mike Laidlaw, over its brief 16-month development and was released in March 2011 well before the first game was fully patched.
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December 7th, 2018, 12:16
Not a bad thing, with Laidlaw or not. At least they're making a new rpg and Ubi could use more experienced lead designers ( their N1 weakness).
An Avatar rpg? Ohhh…
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