Earlier this morning, from out of nowhere, BioWare executive producer Mark Darrah took to social media to claim that he is overseeing work on the next Dragon Age while simultaneously working on the studio’s upcoming online persistent shooter, Anthem. Darrah said that BioWare has “people hard at work on both franchises,” but this doesn’t mean a new Dragon Age is coming anytime soon. EA wants BioWare focused almost exclusively on Anthem before shifting significant resources back to Dragon Age, according to our own source familiar with the publisher.
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
So why did Darrah come out and say that the studio is working on both Anthem and Dragon Age? Well, it could something he did in response to this Kotaku report claiming that the studio is focusing on Anthem to the exclusion of all other products. That story independently echoes some of the information I’ve heard about BioWare.
In particular, I had also heard that EA rebooted Dragon Age 4. The company did so in an effort to find ways to add more live-service elements to the fantasy role-playing game. But EA isn’t going to rush that process because, again, it doesn’t really care about getting another Dragon Age until after Anthem goes live.
But in the effort to adjust Dragon Age for the games-as-a-service era, EA decided not to use much of the work that BioWare had already completed. That includes a story from Dragon Age writer Mike Laidlaw. He had an outline ready for the next entry in the series, but he left the company around the time of the reboot.
I’ve reached out to EA to ask about the state of Dragon Age 4’s development and Laidlaw’s departure, and I’ll update this story if I get a response.
Finally, a quick rumor about Anthem and that E3 trailer.
Did you think that it looked too good to be real? Well, yeah — the rumors I’m hearing suggest that the only thing in the game that worked like that at the time of last year’s E3 was the flying. Everything else was slapped together for that video in an effort to sell the concept to gamers.
Now, it’s up to BioWare to deliver on the promise of that teaser.