Other Projects Led to Changes
Dragon Age 4 saw multiple iterations over the years, but the goal, as may see in the final version, has been to create a single-player experience that offers a live service.
According to recent headlines, developer BioWare has fared all sorts of weather in the creation of Anthem. In Casey Hudson’s studio-wide message, the General Manager offered hope that employees won’t suffer the burnout they saw with Dragon Age 3, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Anthem. That said, the game is still very early in development, according to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier.
Before Mass Effect Andromeda launched, the Dragon Age team was largely focused on a set of new narrative mechanics. The fourth Fantasy installment, codenamed Joplin, was supposed to be set in the Tevinter Imperium, a mage-ruled society in Northern Thedas. Sources said the game would revolve around heists and incorporate innovative systems to propel alternative choices and consequences without an ungodly amount of input from the writers. The idea was put on hold when the team shifted to help BioWare Montreal on Andromeda.
The team changed gears, yet again, when it became clear that Anthem was in trouble. Nobody at BioWare knew how Anthem would turn out until the presentation at E3 2017, the same year Creative Director Mike Laidlaw left the team. Only a skeleton crew stuck around to work on Dragon Age 4, and the former director suspected it had undergone a reboot (when it ceased to be Joplin). The current iteration, codenamed Morrison, according to Kotaku sources, began production with the same codebase as Anthem. However, things change over the course of development. Whether or not BioWare will stick to EA’s mandate and use the clunky Frostbite engine is something we may not learn until late in development. Will we see old assets from Joplin in the final product? That answer is also up in the air.
One studio source has claimed that the main story of Dragon Age 4 is being developed as a single-player, offline mode. Meanwhile, much like Mass Effect Andromeda, a multiplayer attachment will accompany the storyline. It may be a while before we can grasp the true shape of the game. Stay tuned for updates.