Last week, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier published an expose on BioWare detailing Anthem’s troubled development. Now, he’s offered up an interest behind-the-scenes look at how BioWare’s next game is shaping up. While much of BioWare is still scrambling to turn Anthem into a serviceable game, the sequel to the beloved Dragon Age series of RPGs is also in the works.
The version in development now is actually the second, with an earlier take on the series – codenamed Joplin – cancelled in 2017. That version would have been a smaller game with an emphasis on player choice. It would be focused on replayable magical spy heists in wizard-ruled Tevinter Imperium. According to those who worked on it, it was “very cool,” but the team was shifted to the ill-fated Mass Effect: Andromeda to help finish that mess. Shortly after returning to work on Joplin, much of the team was moved to work on Anthem and BioWare cancelled the RPG-in-progress.
The version that’s in development now is codenamed Morrison, and it’s being “built on Anthem’s tools and codebase.” That may or may not be a good thing. It does mean that BioWare isn’t starting from scratch as they tend to do, which may mean a more streamlined development. The concerning bit in the report, however, is that Dragon Age 4 “is planned with a live service component”. Some of the BioWare staff in the report have even called it “Anthem with Dragons.” That might not be cause for worry just yet though, as the overall picture for the next game is hopeful, with a story that’s “designed for single-player”, but a multiplayer element that’s implemented to “keep people engaged so they would actually stick with post-launch content.”
If it’s done as it was in Inquisition or Mass Effect 3, then it’s something that’s easy enough to ignore. What I don’t think any Dragon Age players want is forced multiplayer that impacts on their own role-playing experiences. It’s still very early in development, and I presume (and hope) that the developer and its publisher can learn from past mistakes. With BioWare as it is today, and EA’s mandated live services though, anything is possible. you should read the full report here.
Last Updated: April 10, 2019