As part of a larger investigation on Bioware, Kotaku unearthed some news about the possible development of Dragon Age 4. Now, before you start in, no, Dragon Age 4 is not officially confirmed (but you guys are still waiting for it so much that it was a trending topic for 2017) — but despite being an unofficial title somewhere in development, the game might already be getting a reboot.
Given the poor launches of EA's two massive games for 2017, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Star Wars: Battlefront II, the publisher appears to have decided that starting Dragon Age 4 over from scratch would be the best solution. BioWare also took a few hits in 2017, mostly for Mass Effect: Andromeda's wonky facial animations, poor technical performance, boring script, and heavy reliance on planetary exploration. And if that weren't enough, Mike Laidlaw, creative director of the Dragon Age series, left the studio in October after 14 years.
According to sources that spoke to Kotaku's Jason Schreier, the next Dragon Age game, which was sort-of-but-not-really-confirmed by Mark Darrah, has recently been completely rebooted while still in production. Details on the upcoming RPG are pretty scarce, but from the details we could get, it appears the game has been rebooted in order to implement more live services into the game.
So if you're worried that your single-player 300-hour RPG experience is going to be bogged down in multiplayer add-ons and loot boxes, those same sources that broke the news to Kotaku were quite to assure that the new Dragon Age will still put a heavy focus on narrative and character.
Halfway through my trip to Barcelona!
I'm here showing Anthem internally to EA. I am EP of BOTH DA and Anthem working with @Bio_Warner as Game Director
Anthem's up next but there are people hard at work on both franchises and I look forward to sharing more in the future
— Mark Darrah (@BioMarkDarrah) January 24, 2018
The whole "more live services" line from EA should sound familiar, since it was the whole reason Visceral's Star Wars project was canned. EA has always been at the forefront of the micro-transactions market, and that goes hand-in-hand with live service games. After all, we have to pay for that extra content somehow. So EA rolling Dragon Age 4 back to the drawing board to add more live elements is pretty much par for the course.
And with the delay coming while the game is still unannounced, that means the final product should be much smoother than Mass Effect: Andromeda's facial animations.
Dragon Age 4 is still just a rumor without a release date or confirmed platforms.