BioWare, the developer responsible for the Xbox's Jade Empire and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the Xbox 360's upcoming space epic Mass Effect, has announced the formation of a new handheld division within the company. This will be BioWare's first time developing for handhelds. The company's new division will be led by Dan Tudge, who previously served as the president and founder of independent game developer Exile Interactive.
The company announced that the division's first project would be for the Nintendo DS and would be focusing on that platform for the time being. Greg Zeschuk, the president of BioWare, stated "We are committed to creating the best story-driven games in the world, and the Nintendo DS offers us an exciting new platform to engage." Tudge elaborated in an interview with IGN, noting that the system would allow them to be more innovative with their RPGs. He also reiterated Zeschuk's statement that the company is committed to maintain its focus on story and character-driven games, even on handhelds, and that they were planning to utilize all of the DS's features, from the touch screen to the microphone.
No specific details on the new game were revealed, but Tudge explained that the shorter development cycle for handheld games means it may be ready for release in a year or so. Additional information will certainly come out prior to that point, however, so keep checking back with RPGamer.